How to Deal With Negative Comments On Social Media

Date Published:
November 20, 2022
Summer Stirling

People like to complain. Some folks make a proper hobby of it.

Receiving negative comments on your business’s social media page is pretty much inevitable these days. Knowing how to handle them successfully can make the difference between scaring off new and existing customers and gaining even more with superb client care.

Below you’ll find the key Dos and Don’ts for dealing with a spicy comment section.


1. Address the negative comment as soon as possible.

You don’t want a public display showing that you’re slow with your customer service. All your social media accounts should be monitored at least once a day, if not more frequently.

If you’re a solopreneur running the show alone, having notifications set up to alert you of all new comments can help you catch these quickly.

2. Treat the commenter as you would a friend. Listen carefully to their concern and try to see the situation from their perspective.

3. Apologize. 

Recognize their complaint and apologize for the issue. If possible, address them by their name to keep it as friendly as possible.

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Sam, we are truly sorry you experienced this.” 

4. Advise the client of your next step(s) or if you would need more information. 

“We will be looking into the details of your order and will contact you within the next 24 hours.”

“We will contact you immediately to get a bit more information to look into this further.”

5. Move the conversation somewhere private. Advise the client that you will contact them via DM or whatever other means you have of reaching them.

“Tim from our shipping department will be reaching out to you via DM in a few moments to clear this up.”

6. Do everything within your power to make the situation right. Sometimes sh*t happens, but as a business, it’s your job to make it right. This may be a refund, a replacement, or at the very least, an explanation of what happened and why.

If the complaint is justified and your company majorly messed up, consider going beyond repair with an additional discount, gift, or even a handwritten card.

The customer isn’t always right, but it’s your job to try (within reason) to make them happy.

7. Hopefully by this point you’ve not only made your customer happy but wowed them with how fast and effectively you were able to address their complaint. If, and only if, you feel your client is beyond satisfied, you can ask if they would consider removing the comment.

Negative online comments are common, but customers will also frequently post and share how companies have gone above and beyond for them. Treat each complaint as an opportunity to impress someone with your customer service skills.

Do not:

1. Ignore or delete the message. Only delete comments if they are excessively rude, inappropriate, fake, or completely unjustified. 

2. Try to address the issue publicly. This can lead to further inflammatory posts if the customer is not happy with what you’re able to do or offer as a solution.

3. Publicly offer a discount code or coupon to say sorry. Firstly, it doesn’t fix the issue. And second, others may be inspired to complain to also get the discount.

Social Media is one of the greatest, free marketing strategies companies have. Having excellent customer service is the key to unlocking its full potential.