7 tips for handling negative social media comments

Negative social media comments are a reality for many businesses. But how you handle those comments can not only squash any social media fires but also improve your overall brand perception.

About 35 percent of customers in the U.S. post negative comments about companies on social media. However, answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by up to 25 percent.

Examples of negative social media comments include (but are not limited to):

  • Customer complaints, which are the most common
  • Trolling, where users are publishing outrageous comments that are oftentimes untrue and intend to get other people riled up
  • Spam, which promotes something else
  • Malicious comments, containing profanity and offensive language
  • Harassing or threatening comments, which harass or threaten your social media team, leadership, staff or even other users unrelated to your brand

While you’re considering your social media presence, check out these eight most common social media mistakes to avoid.

The following are seven tips for best handling any negative social media comments your brand might experience.

Don’t delete every negative social media comment

No one enjoys negative comments on social media, but resist the urge to automatically delete every one that you come across.

Deleting legitimate complaints especially makes your brand looks deceitful, like you’re hiding something. And no matter how quickly you might have deleted a comment, you never truly know who has seen it and then notices that it’s deleted (other than the commenter himself or herself).

Of course, if a comment contains offensive language to a degree that violates your community standards for your social media presence, then you always have the option to hide or delete the comment and then block and report the user.

Always apologize

Regardless of whether the negative comment is justified or not, it’s critical to always take the high road and start your response off by apologizing. Think of the “customer is always right” approach.

Not apologizing can lead to a public battle that will only drag your brand down. And remember, if the complaint is silly or the comment is totally unwarranted, others will see that. You’re never wrong for apologizing for someone feeling the way they do, no matter what.

Respond as quickly as possible

The more time you allow negative social media comments to go unanswered, the more time others can see not just the complaint but also that you haven’t responded.

It’s not a good look for brands.

Replying as soon as you can prevents the comment from bubbling up into something more damaging. It also shows the commenter that you’re listening and that you care. And that will be evident to other users as well.

Treat negative social media comments as feedback

No one enjoys reading negative comments related to their brand. Detach the personal feelings you might have and consider all comments as feedback, the good and the bad.

In that light, the tone of your response can and should have gratitude included. This is another way of taking the high road while also being human and relateable. 

Of course, if the comment is truly feedback that can be actionable on your end, make sure to take the next step and communicate that to your team.

Ask how you can help

It sounds simple, but when replying to a negative social media comment, apologizing for how the commenter feels and then asking how you can help is a tactful way to respond.

For example, the comment could be fairly offensive in nature, and the commenter will either be willing to tell you something that is actionable or so surprised that you responded that it ends there.

Either way, you gave it a tasteful attempt that everyone else can see.

Move the conversation into a private space

While you absolutely want to react publicly and quickly to all negative social media comments, it’s recommended to always suggest the opportunity to take the conversation private when appropriate.

This is helpful if someone is being particularly difficult or has an in-depth issue that needs to be discussed in greater detail. You’ll also be able to offer any discounts or other incentives to help make the situation right, which is something that’s better to do in private than in public.

Include in your response a statement that you’ll be following up privately with a direct message. That way, they can know to expect, but others will understand why the thread has ended.

Of course, within the private message, you can keep the conversation there or offer to speak over the phone or via email for a more personal experience.

Pick your battles

While we all want to make social media a more positive place that is beneficial for ourselves and our brands, some users are just attention-seekers looking to stir up controversy.

Keep an eye out for any patterns you might notice and what’s being said by repeated commenters. Pick your battles in general.

In conclusion

Staying on top of any negative comments on your social media accounts will help preserve your brand’s online reputation. When in doubt while writing any response, just be kind. The high road is the best road.

Digging into negative online reviews? Check out our 11 tips.

As you take a new look at how to approach negative social media comments, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

How to set up Google Alerts to stay in the know

Knowledge is power. And Google Alerts can notify whenever specific terms are published online.

Wouldn’t you like to know when someone publishes something related to industry news, products, your business, competitive businesses or even just you as a person?

Fortunately, Google Alerts are easy to set up and free to use. All you need is a Gmail account, and then you can start receiving relevant email notifications in real-time. 

This is particularly helpful if you’re regularly running a competitive analysis to inform your business and digital marketing strategies.

The following is how you can set up, edit and even delete Google Alerts so that you and your business can be in the know.

Create a Google Alert

To start, you’ll want to go to the Google Alerts landing page. Make sure that you’re signed in with your preferred Gmail account.

In the top field that says, “Create an alert about…”, you can type in whatever phrase or term you want. Keep in mind that quote marks around a phrase will better ensure that you get exact matches.

You’ll immediately see a preview of the type of content you will be alerted about, whether there are recent results or not.

Of course, you can customize your settings by clicking “Show Options.” You can then change the:

  • Frequency of alerts
  • Type of websites you’ll see
  • Language preference
  • Region of the world for your alerts
  • Number of results you want to see
  • Delivery email for the alerts

Once you’re satisfied with the search and the settings, click “Create Alert.” That’s it!

Edit a Google Alert

To edit your existing Google Alerts, navigate to the Google Alerts landing page. Once you’re logged in with your preferred Gmail account, you should see all your existing alerts. 

Next to an alert you want to edit, click the “edit” pencil icon. If you’re not seeing any options, click “Show Options,” and make your changes. Then, click “Update Alert.”

To change how you receive Google Alerts in general, click the “settings” gear wheel icon in the top right, and edit from there. You can change your delivery time and whether you want more of a digest-style notification email.

Delete a Google Alert

Deleting any alert that are no longer relevant to you is easy. Simply navigate to the Google Alerts landing page, and make sure you’re logged in with your preferred Gmail account.

Next to an alert that you want to delete, click the “delete” trash icon. You also can delete an alert by clicking “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of that alert’s email.

In conclusion

Understanding what’s being said about you, your business or products, your competition or even just general industry-related news arms you in this competitive online world. 

Of course, this shows you both the good and the bad. See our 11 tips to best respond to any negative reviews or posts

Google alerts can also help you build your personal brand. Check out our 10 tips to build up your personal brand and grow your business.

As you begin creating relevant Google Alerts, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

11 tips to best respond to negative reviews

No business wants (or wants to have to respond to) negative reviews online. 

But they do happen, and you must respond to reduce any damage to your online reputation and potential sales.

About 90 percent of consumers worldwide read reviews before buying products, and about 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend or a family member.

Of course, negative reviews can happen regardless of the quality of your service and/or product, or even how many other people love it.

The following are 11 tips for you to respond effectively to any negative reviews that might come your way.

Respond quickly

Time is of the essence. An unanswered negative review will only fester and draw more attention online.

Whether it’s you or someone else on your team, ensure that you have a system in place to regularly check for new reviews. Many platforms will send a notification as well, but don’t simply rely on that. Notifications can get missed.

Aim to respond to reviews within 24 to 48 hours maximum. But truly, the sooner, the better. Reviews and responses are timestamped, so others reading the thread will see how long it took you to respond.

See our six ways to be more responsive to your customers.

Introduce yourself and your connection to the team

While it’s fantastic for the owner of a business to personally respond to customer complaints, it’s not always realistic.

But whether you’re the owner or a representative of the company, be sure to introduce yourself to help establish that personal connection with the reviewer.

Acknowledge the issue

Acknowledgment is huge. It doesn’t matter whether you think the customer is right, just having an off day or doesn’t understand your process or product at all.

Keep your emotions in check, and read the customer’s feedback objectively.

Then, start by thanking the customer for not only bringing the situation to your attention but taking the time to do so. It opens the door to finding a solution.


Again, it just doesn’t matter whether the customer is right or wrong, it’s your responsibility as the business to take the high road and apologize for the issue he or she had.

Apologies go a long way and show that you care about delivering a high level of service. Make sure to be clear that the customer’s happiness is your No. 1 priority.

Keep in mind that there is a difference between “I apologize” and “I’m sorry.”

To apologize is to take responsibility for something on behalf of your company. To say sorry is to emphasize with the customer without acknowledging that your company is specifically to blame.

When there’s a negative review because of something your business is responsible for, then apologize.

When there’s a negative review because of something outside of your control, then you can consider the “I’m sorry this happened to you” approach.

If needed, offer an explanation

Tread lightly here. It’s easy to go so deep into an explanation that it can read as an excuse or being defensive.

Often, an apology alone will suffice. But when necessary, keep your explanation short and to the point. If there was a technology glitch, for example, say that. But don’t dive into all the headaches that glitch caused you personally or how cumbersome it was to get it fixed.

Remember that as a business, you must take responsibility for all good (and bad) experiences.

Think quick context, not an extended narrative. Less is more. 

Reinforce your company’s values

Similar to offering an explanation, it’s best to concisely state the importance of customer service to your business. Spending too much time on this point can be taken wrong.

Just briefly mention what your current standards for customer service are, that you take customer complaints very seriously and that customer service is an integral part of your company’s values.

Make it right for the reviewer

Remember that a bad experience with any business likely costs a customer time and/or money (and that’s where emotions can run high, for sure).

Be sure to not only make it right, but to compensate the customer into using your business again. A 20 percent discount on his or her next visit or product can turn a one-time, unhappy customer into a lifetime, loyal customer.

Of course, the compensation should make sense for the situation at hand. If they’re dealing with a malfunctioning product, for example, 20 percent off a second product doesn’t make sense. But a free exchange as well as 20 percent off a future product can work well together. You both fixed the issue and encouraged them to continue doing business with you.

If nothing can be done to resolve the situation, write a compelling public response to the review that shows your sincere regret and desire to avoid that type of situation from happening again. 

There’s a wide range of options here. Focus on the immediate problem at hand, and don’t be afraid to step out of the box when it comes to making it right. Every business is different.

Be human and personable

Whether you get hit with 10 online reviews per week or hundreds per day, make the effort to not sound “canned” in your responses. 

While consumers can sense if a reviewer is being overly aggressive or out of line, they can also sense if you’re templating a bit too much in your responses.

There are many helpful online review response templates available on the internet, but use them as inspiration. They’ll never substitute the type of thoughtful response you can write on your own after reading and thinking through the issue a customer had.

Remember that you always want to humanize your brand as much as you can online. Avoid templated shortcuts.

Keep it short

There obviously are several components to any successful response to a negative review, but overall, try to keep your response as short as possible.

Longer replies often get ignored. They also can (simply in their length) appear desperate or defensive, and there’s really no need to go crazy in length. 

At the end of the day, you have a customer who is unhappy. Address that directly and concisely.

Invite the reviewer to continue the conversation offline

While there can definitely be a little back and forth in review responses, a public comment thread is not the best place to hash out all the finer details of resolving an issue for a customer.

Invite that customer to continue the conversation with you directly. This can be with a direct phone number to call, an email or even a direct message on a social media platform.

Of course, don’t just leave that ball in his or her court. When you comment with that invitation, take the extra step and also let them know that you just directly messaged them, for example.

Remember that you’re writing for two audiences: the customer who had a negative experience, as well as all the potential customers who are reading your reviews. Make sure that the end of your response has a “next steps” approach. It doesn’t leave anyone hanging.

Get a second opinion

When in doubt (and obviously if possible), don’t hesitate to run your written response by a colleague for a second opinion.

As much as you might want to be objective and fair in your responses to negative reviews, they naturally trigger emotion and can even feel like a personal attack. Because of this, it never hurts to get an outside opinion on your response before you post it.

In conclusion

Remember that negative reviews can happen on almost any online platform, not just Yelp or Google. Your business could be tagged in an unhappy tweet or a check-in post on Facebook.

Have a system in place so that you can stay on top of all online reviews coming in, not just the negative ones. If a customer has a great experience, thank him or her for sharing. But now, if someone has a bad experience, you can confidently address it. How you do so can actually outweigh any negative perception that a negative review might otherwise cause.

Negative reviews are not a battlefield for you to go to war in. Take them as an opportunity to convert unhappy customers into brand loyalists and to maintain your integrity as a business.

Online reviews are a form of social proof that you can leverage to actually grow your business. Check out these nine ways you can use social proof in your digital marketing.

As you begin taking on negative reviews with a fresh perspective, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.