How To Deal With Negative Comments on Facebook

By on December 12, 2011
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One day, out of the blue – you’re going to publish something, or do something, that results in negative feedback on Facebook. The question is, what are you going to do about it? Today’s post is all about dealing with aggravated, upset fans on your Facebook page, and keeping your social reputation intact.


Finding The Root of The Problem

You land on your Facebook page, and horror! Your fans are up in arms! What do you do? The first thing, is determine the root cause of the issue. Believe it or not ‘trolls’ still exist, though these days it’s called ‘raging’ instead. Step one is to find out what you’ve done wrong. Is this an isolated incident? Who is this coming from? Why are they saying the things they’re saying?

Establish if the slander is warranted, or if it’s just someone raging your page.


Turn The Problem Into a Solution

By now you should have established whether this was a one-on-one type deal, or if it involves many fans. Here’s how you turn the problem into an opportunity to make your business look good.

  • 1) It’s your fault. You’ve done something wrong! Immediately apologize to the person, or people concerned. Then go a step further. Offer them something extra for free, as a heartfelt apology. People love it when you make an effort.
  • 2) It’s partially your fault. But the fan is being unreasonable and embarrassing. Apologize anyway, about the fact that the issue caused the fan so much distress. Then give them a free gift. Or two.
  • 3) It’s not your fault. Your fan is going nuts! Apologize on your Facebook page, and offer to clear up the matter via email. It’s much more private and will prevent any further ‘live’ feedback. Do NOT engage this fan publicly.
  • 4) What’s going on? Pure rage/trolling! Publish a brief post apologizing to your real fans, and explaining that the message was spam. Delete the post. Block and report the troll.


Rules of Engagement

Whatever you do, always respond. When you don’t respond, and your page is left full of negative feedback, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Even if it’s a highly unpleasant experience, regarding a fan or client you’ve had trouble with, make the effort. Not for them, for your own sake.

Always respect your fan or client, even if they are completely unreasonable. The last thing you want to do is rage at them, or start a public fight. Be the bigger person, and be polite. Don’t remove all negative posts. Use them as an opportunity to show your other fans that you care about their concerns.

Do this right, and you’ll find that other fans often come to your defense. What started out as something very negative, can turn out to be the best post on your page! So keep your head, stay calm – and respond in a professional manner.

What’s the worst feedback you’ve ever received and how did you deal with it? Share your story with us!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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