Social Media – Handling Negative or Deceitful Comments

February 23rd, 2011

How do you handle negative comments or outright lies being posted on social platforms across the web?

The best defense is of course is a good offense. Providing consistent company information and keeping engaged with your social community can go a long way towards building and (more importantly) retaining loyalty, even when under attack.

But what happens when your brand is targeted from competitors and the negative impacts seem to grow out of control?

Read through all of the comments and take the necessary time to thoroughly understand the issue or issues being raised. Research within and beyond your company and gather factual, accurate information about the true situation. Honesty and accuracy are your best weapons.

Once you have all of the facts it is important to be totally transparent. Do not defend your brand, but offer accurate, factual information for those who wish to learn more.

If you discover there is some truth contained within the posts, admit any error on the part of your brand. Stress that your company wants to be responsive to their community’s concerns and takes them seriously. Follow that up with what steps your company is taking to deal with the issues and remedy the situation. Keep your community informed regarding your progress.

Rely on your loyal customers and fans to help set the record straight. Know and develop strong relationships with your influencers and customers. Let them help you balance the playing field by posting related positive comments and links to information that addresses the facts of an issue. If they have a personal experience that contradicts the issue being raised encourage them to share it.

Do not make negative comments about any company or person who posted negative comments about your brand. This begins a campaign of mud-slinging that will only further hurt your brand. It is non-productive and will not be received well by the community.

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