Creating and maintaining social media accounts for your counseling or treatment center can be a powerful tool in connecting with your audience and allowing for two-way communication. Most of the time, hopefully, you hope your audience will comment on something you’ve posted with positive feedback, recommendations, or appreciation for the content you’re putting out there. SHowever, sometimes, the comments that your pages receive will not be as friendly though. What areshould you to do when you receive a comment that directly challenges your business’s mission, statements, or initiatives? Should you ignore the comment, respond with whatever comes to mind, or delete the comment altogether? Well, the answer is actually not that simple. According to Marketing Land, each negative comment left on one of your posts is in itself a unique situation that must be handled in a specific manner. If you were to apply the same methodology to each negative comment, you could end up in a lot more trouble than you were when the comment was initially made.
Let’s take a look at a few tips that Theory About That is sharing for successfully handling a negative comment!
Although it may be tempting to just delete every negative comment you see, we actually would advise against this strategy. The reason we say this is becausethat, oftentimes, users will know if their comment has been deleted, which can create a much bigger issue for you. If a user finds out you’re trying to censor them without a proper response, they can become upset and begin to post a series of increasingly angry posts that you’ll have to deal with.
Instead of deleting posts, try using the “Hide Comment” option instead. By hiding a post, you’re making it so only the user who posted the comment, as well as their friends, can see the comment. When you do this, the user is still under the impression that their comment can be seen by other users and they are not tempted to call the company out for trying to censor them because they are unaware it’s happened at all unless they go to some pretty extreme measures.
Once a comment has been hidden, you’ll still want to respond to the person, but the team at Theory About That recommends doing that in private, which takes us to our next tip!
When a negative comment is sitting on your page, it can be tempting to respond “in public” to let everyone know that you’ve addressed the issue. We do recommend responding to the comment on the post, but make sure to do it in a way that discourages the user from continuing the conversation on the post and encourage them to send you a private message if they’d like to discuss further.
For example, you can say something like:
“We’re sorry that you’ve had a negative experience with our service, and we would like to learn more about the issue. Please send us a private message so our team can help resolve this for you!”
By responding to the comment, you’re letting every other user know that you’ve not only seen it, but you’re willing to work one-on-one with the person to make it right. By directing the person to private messages, you prevent a variety of issues that can arise from a public conversation. In a worst-case scenario, users can begin to “gang up” on your brand and it can be challenging to fend off comments from ten users, let alone one! Once you’ve gotten the person to privately message you, you can take whatever course of action you see fit, as long as it’s fair for the situation.
Whether a comment is negative or not, your brand should always be putting out information that is truthful. Sometimes, the truth isn’t the best or most appealing thing to hear, but it’s much better than a lie that can be displayed to the world. If a user calls your business out for making a mistake, oftentimes it’s just best to own up to it and tell the user they’re right. Although it may seem counterintuitive to agree that you’re in the wrong, it can actually make the entire situation much easier to handle.
If a user were to comment saying that something you’ve posted is offensive to them, respond to them privately and acknowledge that they’re offended, apologize, state that you didn’t mean to offend them, and let them know you’ll try to do better in the future! Our team promises that this strategy will work much better than if you tell them “they shouldn’t be offended”, because that will never resolve any issues.
The team at Theory About That is passionate about helping your practice grow by maintaining a strong social media presence. We believe that connecting with your audience and sharing content are the best ways to build a following and get your brand noticed.
Although social media marketing can be a powerful tool, it can be challenging to navigate if you don’t have any time to manage each platform or the experience to handle challenging situations such as negative comments. If you need assistance in becoming a social media guru and building your digital presence, contact our team and learn how we can help you today!