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Dealing with negative comments or bots is sadly something every business needs to prepare to handle. It's not a fun situation or topic, but it's always best to be prepared.
Hello, Summerville! How is our favorite city? We hope you're staying safe and making the best out of your week! This week's blog is going to touch on an uncomfortable topic that sadly every business that has an online presence needs to prepare for. When a company creates its online presence, its goal is to create a positive community to share their products, services, knowledge about their industry, to connect with their customers and future customers, and connect with anyone who happens to discover their brand. With the freedom that the internet allows and the ability to hide behind a keyboard, this positive community isn't always positive or well-received. People will have their opinions and the internet allows them to share them in an instant, regardless if they're good or bad.
In a world dominated by Google reviews, Yelp reviews, comments, and opinions, staying on top of these interactions is incredibly important. It's not a pleasant part of owning a business today, but it is a reality. Hopefully, this isn't something that you'll have to deal with often but just in case, it's always best to stay prepared. Social media and the internet has its own culture, its way of interacting, and its way of how best to communicate. It is a different animal compared to dealing with an upset or disgruntled client in real life, which is why many of the normal practices of dealing with these situations might not work. In this two-part blog, we are going to give you a few tips and suggestions on how to deal with handling negative comments, and how to move on from them.
Many trolls, scammers, and bots are trying to get an emotional response from you so they have the upper hand in making you and your company look bad. Don't allow them to do this. First, make sure to document these posts or comments. Take a screenshot on your phone or computer just in case. Deleting the comment won't be in your best favor. It could anger the person who commented in the first place, and it could also bring your integrity into question by the commenter and anyone who saw the post before the comment was removed, according to Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The only time you should remove a negative comment is if it has nothing to do with your company or if they are inappropriate. Remove these comments and block the user who is abusing and attacking your social media platforms. This is an example of people being mean to be mean.
Make sure to discuss your response with your fellow employees, if a response is necessary, and make sure to do it quickly. Anyone can see these comments, and news travels fast on social media. Make sure to get a handle on it before it handles you. With this being said, the continued conversation doesn't have to be in the public eye. Make sure to respond to every comment, but invite the disgruntled party to connect with you outside of social media. Invite them to email you or to directly message you to fix the issue at hand. Make it known to your customers where they can turn to if they do have issues and who they can speak to. This can channel these issues into a safe space instead of all over the internet.
The internet can be an easy escape and a wonderful addition to running your company. It can also be a harmful place for quick and ugly comments and opinions to spew. We do believe that inherently, people are trying to be good. Sometimes, a bad experience makes us angry for a split second, but that doesn't mean that we are bad people. The internet opened up a world of wonderful and it also opened up the possibility for a lot of ugliness. Learning how to deal with it professionally and quickly is a skill that you will acquire when owning a business. In our next blog, we will be continuing this topic and giving you more ideas on how to handle these situations. Until next time, stay safe and sound Summerville!