If you’ve ever had to deal with a negative comment on your blog you already know how hard it can be. Your body is filling with emotion, you feel insulted and you don’t know what to do. It’s like you’re back in the school playground and someone is picking on you all over again. Except ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ just isn’t fitting in these circumstances. So what are you going to do? Are you going to give up like a chump? Or are you going to fight back?
It’s not uncommon to receive a negative comment in your blog. People that want to say negative things tend to be more abundant than people who have positive things to say.
Negative comments can be grouped into four different categories.
When you’re writing thought leadership content for your blog, you will often find people who don’t agree with your views or the views of your company. To avoid these kinds of dark clouds over your brand you should promote the authorship of your blog by your staff members. When your staff are part of the process of writing blogs then they are voicing their own opinion. These of course are always checked to make sure they are in line with the opinion and views of your company. But when it comes to people disagreeing with the post, they are really disagreeing with one person instead of your whole company. This can lighten the weight of the posts and alters the view for the person who is writing that negative comment.
The person who has written the post can then go back and comment on the disagreement from their own viewpoint. Something like; ‘Thanks for your response I love to see that this topic has sparked a bit of lively debate…’ then you can show your side of the story!
When the wily get wilier it can bring about disaster for your blog. Someone using this platform to make complaints about your products or services may seem more like an attempt to ruin your reputation then sort out the problem. Do not fear this wily coyote! You may need to spend some time away from the blog comment before you reply as you don’t want to reply when you’re still angry, this can make things worse.
However you normally deal with complaints, it’s fair to say the same thing will apply here. Reassure the customer that you are doing everything you can and ask them to get in contact with someone who handles complaints. Alternatively you could show a lot of heart by just nipping the problem in the bud straight away. Give them a discount or send them a new product straight away and other people reading will be impressed with your reaction. Act fast though you don’t want people to see a complaint gone days without being answered!
This normally happens with bigger and more controversial companies but there is always the chance that your business will be the brunt of a serious accusation. Perhaps you have been accused of financing war, polluting, not being environmentally friendly or mistreating people.
Whatever the accusation you need to handle it with speed and transparency. If the accusation is true then you must apologise, release more information on the matter and explain how you will be taking measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again. If it isn’t true then you must expell their beliefs, offer them clarity and proof then ask them where they heard this information. In either case you should always be asking yourself how you can avoid a scenario like this.
The worst of all the bad comments comes from the trolls. Trolls live on the edge, they get their kicks from causing pain so you shouldn’t take anything they say seriously. A troll might start with a comment like one of the above but continue their abuse in a whirlwind. The only way to stop a troll is to block them.
As a courtesy to your other readers you should always first reply to the troll, tell them how they are breaking the rules (refer to your social media policy if you have one) and explain that all of their comments in this nature will be deleted. If they continue you can mark them as SPAM.
How to Deal with Negative Comments
Each type of comment has it’s own way of treating it, and for each business there may be a different process involved. That’s why it’s important that you document your process for dealing with negative comments. We call this the ‘Social Media Escalation Process’ which includes details on what kinds of comment you should be looking for, how you should react and who you should call in the event that someone needs to be informed or emailed about the comment.
What do you think about these tips on handling negative comments on your blog? Have you had any experience with the kinds of comments above or maybe a unique case of your own? Please share your story in the comment box below (be nice though!)
Live And Social can help your company create an escalation process from scratch. To find out more, contact us today.