When Your Facebook Page Takes a Hit – How to Address Negative Comments

When Your Facebook Page Takes a Hit – How to Address Negative Comments

Conflict. It doesn’t matter what the disagreement is about, it gives me the heebee-jeebees. I am a people pleaser and if someone has an issue, I want to make them happy. So, what do you do when you can’t make them happy? What do you do when you can’t come to an understanding? What do you do when they don’t stop?

I wish I had a good answer.

In my position as social media manager, we are periodically hit with people who vocally (sometimes intensely) oppose our stances. While this in-itself is fine (freedom of speech, right?), it can be very difficult to address each comment and concern. Navigating this is a learning experience, and, safe to say, one I have not yet mastered. But there are 3 take-aways that are important to remember.

1) Don’t ignore it. Just ignore it and it’ll go away. Sure, that’s the easy way, right? How I wish that were true. However, it is not a step in the best direction. No one likes to be ignored, and if people take the time to post their concerns, they would like the common courtesy of a response. It can be as simple as this response: “Thank you for sharing your concerns. If I may, I would like to forward this to my manager.”  Diffusing the situation by acknowledging with a ‘thank you’ can go a long way.

2) Take it out of the public eye. If the person is persistent about their opinion, take the conversation to a means of private communication (i.e. direct messaging, email). You should still make an initial response on the public comment, but offer to respond in a private message. “Thank you for sharing. I have some resources that might answer some of your questions. Can I send it to you in a direct message?” By getting the conversation out of public view, you can minimize potential onslaught and make the conversation a little more personal. It’s easier to address specific questions and get contact information if the user would like to talk to a manager.

3) There is always an emotional factor. When people get vocal about an issue, there is a strong emotional tie to the situation. Respond with compassion without compromising your organization’s stance. Do not immediately block a user. Blocking users just complicates the problem because they feel ignored, and that their concern is invalid. It also hurts your organization’s reputation. There is a legitimate time to block users: when they use foul, hurtful, or violent language.

What advice would you add? Have you experienced conflict on your social accounts?


Guest Blogger: Lacey Graham
Author: Lacey Graham
Lacey Graham has been on staff with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board since 2011 as social media expert and web administrator. She manages and maintains the corporate website, social networks, e-store, event registrations, and specialty sites.

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