If you’re a social media marketer (or someone who runs a brand page) you know that there are two absolute truths:

  1. Social media can make or break your brand
  2. Negative comments make your organization look incompetent and unprofessional

But at the end of the day, negative comments on social media are unavoidable. However, the way you respond can make all the difference for future and current customers. Here are 3 critical rules all brands should follow. (Jump to the bottom for your free templated response.)

Never Ignore Negative Comments

Ignoring a negative comment will only upset the customer even more. And because social media is often an open forum, it can come across to others that you don’t value their feedback or concerns. If you’re wondering how important responding can be, take a look at some of these recent stats:

  • 44% of people think that brand conversations (what a brand says back to negative posts) are more persuasive than what a brand says in its advertising materials. (Edelman)
  • If a brand responds well to their complaint, 37% of customers will share the positive experience with their friends. (Sprout Social)

Keep in mind: You should reply to every comment whether it’s negative, positive or neutral.

Don’t Make False Promises

Many customers rush to social media with their complaints because it can sometimes be the quickest way to get a response. But you’re a marketer, not a customer service department. Whatever you do, don’t make promises you can’t keep!

Putting a customer in contact with someone who can actually resolve the issue will not only make your life easier, but it’ll also delight the upset customer. At the end of the day, they’re just looking for someone to talk to! If you can’t help, don’t waste their time.

Take the Conversation Out of the Spotlight

A lot of marketers make this mistake: they keep the conversation going in the comment sections.

To resolve the issue, move the conversation from the comment section to your direct messages. One of the worst things you can do is start a long, back-and-forth word-battle in front of your followers. If they’re frustrated, they may send multiple negative comments that could affect your brand perception.

Use your direct messages to keep it a 1:1 conversation.

Customize this Response and Make it Your Own!

With the right response, brands can even turn the occasional upset customer into a brand advocate. In fact, a Sprout Social study found that if a company responds in a timely and useful manner to a compliant, 45% of people will reinforce that positive interaction by posting about it on social, informing their friends about the resolution and rewarding the brand with future business.

Here’s your free templated response:

Hi [NAME],

Please know that we take your feedback seriously and appreciate your patience. On behalf of [YOUR COMPANY], I apologize for your negative experience. We strive to deliver the best [PRODUCTS/SERVICE] and it appears that we did not meet your expectations. To resolve this issue, I’d like to connect you with a customer service specialist. What is the best way for a member of our team to reach you?  

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