There are some truths in business that will forever built within the process of building a brand.

1. Your customers will always talk about you whether good or bad.

2. Everyone makes mistakes that can and will be remedied with the right process. Even PR people! :-)

The introduction of social media has brought major changes to the world of customer communication. Facebook and Twitter are leading the “customer revolution” where individuals are now in control of the conversation. Two-way communication is vitally important in this space.

Josh Catone of Mashable has a great post that outlines the different types of negative feedback within social media. Check out his full post here:

Straight Problems – Someone has an issue with your product or service and has laid out exactly what went wrong. This type of feedback is negative in the sense that it paints your business in a poor light, but it can be helpful in exposing real problems that need to be dealt with.

Constructive Criticism – Even more helpful is when the comment comes with a suggestion attached. Many customers — including some of your most loyal — will use social media to suggest ways in which you can improve your product or service. While this type of feedback may point out your flaws, and is thus negative, it can be extremely helpful to receive.

Merited Attack – While the attack itself may not be merited, the issue that catalyzed it does have merit in this type of negative feedback. Essentially, you or your company did something wrong, and someone is angry.

Trolling/Spam – The difference between trolling and a merited attack are that trolls have no valid reason for being angry at you. Also in this category are spammers, who will use a negative comment about your product or service (whether true or not) to promote a competing service.

There will always be individuals who disagree with comments or suggestions from a brand. You cannot please all people and all times. It is a fact of life. However, how you deal with people online is much different than how you may have dealt with constructive criticism in the past.

Facebook is probably the bigger culprit when it comes to negative feedback. So… how do you deal with negative Facebook comments?

1. Respond No Matter What

Social Media Examiner has a great post talking about dealing with upset fans. He states:

It’s vitally important that the complaints and issues your fans pose on your wall are addressed. Inactivity on your part will appear as though you’re trying to ignore the issue and sweep it under the rug.

2. Four Simple Words

This one is from the beautiful and brilliant Gini Deitrich over on Spin Sucks:

There are four words that work really well online. They are, “I’m sorry” and “thank you.” It’s amazing what happens when you admit your mistake and apologize. Suddenly the issue becomes a non-issue because there isn’t anything to complain about.

3. Contact All Parties Involved Privately

Facebook gives you the option to contact users via the messaging feature. Contact each party involved and make them feel special. Remember… 90% of social media is complete and utter narcissism. I made that stat up.

4. Do Not Delete Content Unless Policies Are in Place

The deletion of negative feedback will result in more content being created in which you can’t control. There are many issues that merit deletion of content. Heather Lynn Herr from Right This Minute had a good suggestions – racism, sexism, verbal abuse, inappropriate language (given community or content), pornographic content, blatant antagonistic behavior toward other community members are all good reasons to delete content.

It is imperative that you have a policy on your Facebook page if you choose to delete content at your own discretion. Be open and honest with your Facebook community. They will love you for it!

5. Deflect to a More Positive Discussion

This one is from Laurel Papworth who is a genius at monitoring and managing communities:

This one is recommended a lot by social media “experts” – thank the commenter, ask for more information and then bury them in talking. If there is more than one negative reviewer, try the “thankyou – oh look something shiny!” approach.