The magic of social media lies in the fact that you have direct communication with your audience. And that they can communicate with you in real-time too.

However, this very factor can become a challenge when you have to deal with negative reviews and feedback.

If you want to have a strong social media presence, then you need to make peace with the fact that you will get negative responses from customers. It’s inevitable because of technical issues, real mistakes, and misunderstandings.

But what isn’t a given is that you have to deal with it poorly.

Do you want to grow your business and your personal brand on social media? And to deal with negative feedback in the best way possible? Then, let’s get started and look at ways social media professionals can handle negative feedback.

Give time for your audience’s real opinion to come through

One of the things you should remember is not to gauge your content’s reception based on the first feedback you get. For example, on forums like Reddit and others, getting a negative reaction to a post at first can be disheartening. But if you give it some time, for example, a few hours, you’ll see more balanced viewpoints and feedback appear.

Some content takes time to appear in people’s social media feeds and to create responses. So, it’s a good idea to look at how people engage with your social media posts but to wait until later to understand the real consensus on your post.

This helps you understand if you should be concerned about your content’s quality or whether it’s good.

Listen actively

Active listening is a form of listening where you learn to take in feedback without judgment.

It’s a well-known communication strategy that creates advantages for all parties involved.

If you want to engage more people on social media, learn to listen without judgment at first. And listen to everything your audience or customer has to say.

Whether their comment seems fair or inaccurate, there’s information that you can use to better your relationship with a customer and your business.

Build your listening skills and you’ll find that even negative feedback can be valuable for your growth. You can also train your staff to listen more effectively and to separate emotions from the real content of a conversation.

Realize it’s not personal

You need to realize that even highly negative responses to your social media aren’t personal. This is because it’s not possible for a customer to capture your entire business or your persona with a few online interactions.

However, you have to be mindful and stay away from topics that are complex and out of the realm of your work. And you do need to follow ethical business and communication practices – that’s something that goes without saying.

Whenever customers express a negative viewpoint, it reflects their experiences at that moment. And learning to listen without taking it personally will help you grow as a leader and make positive changes to your business too.

Use humor

Wondering how to respond to negative feedback? A great way to do this is through humor.

This doesn’t mean that you take negative reviews or other forms of criticism lightly.

Rather, you learn to look at criticism as having some layer of truth to it but you also remove unnecessary self-criticism.

Also, you can use humor to respond to reviews that genuinely deserve a calling out. For example, here’s an image of a humorous response to an unfair review of a restaurant.

Local Restaurant Exposes A Bad Reviewer

Image Source

In this example, the response of the business owner would only serve to appeal to other rational and fair customers.

So, an important question to ask yourself is ‘How can I find both truth and humor in this feedback?’

Remembering to look for something funny and interesting can you keep you in a positive mind frame and also come up with replies that build your brand image.

Go offline

Are you dealing with too many negative reviews or is there a customer that’s unhappy and continues to bring up their issues on social media?

You can deal with matters by going offline.

One way to take things offline is to ask a customer to contact you directly, either via a phone call or via email. This moves the conversation away from public view and gives you the chance to have a one-on-one meeting with your customer.

At other times, you may want to go offline by disconnecting from social media until you feel like you’re ready to cope with comments, posts, and other communication.

Disconnecting from social networks can give you a much-needed break and you can come back to your online interaction with a fresh perspective.


Are you ready to grow your business on social media?

Dealing with online interactions means that you should be prepared for customers who express their unhappiness in a public way.

However, such events are opportunities for growth if you know how to deal with them well. I’ve shared several ways you can deal with negative feedback. So, the next time you have an unhappy customer, look for ways to apply these tips and change things for the better.