But inevitably, this approach will invite a broad range of audience reactions that you need to be prepared to answer or otherwise deal with. To help in that regard, consider this your guide on how to handle every type of comment on social media.
1. The Positive Comment
Every digital brand longs for positive comments from their audience, because they can have a powerful effect. Whether a user praises your product or reminisces about your services, be sure to engage and thank them for their kind words. You can even amplify their message by sharing their comment with your audience.
2. The Question
As your social media presence grows, you will inevitably begin to get questions about your brand and its business. Many of these are neither positive or negative, but simply want more information related to how to or why. The key to responding (in addition to answering, of course) is doing so quickly. The majority of your audience will expect a response time of 60 minutes or less to maintain or increase their positive relationship with your brand.
3. The Neutral Comment
Other comments on your social media network may not be positive or negative, but simply stating facts or otherwise be neutral toward your brand. Engage with these by aiming to start a conversation that seeks to draw them closer into your brand. Simply by commenting, this user has shown a willingness to engage with them. Now is the time for you to invite them in by asking them questions about their comment and getting an interaction going.
4. The Constructive Complaint
This type of comment may just be the most important one on social media and the toughest to respond to. When a member of your audience is unhappy, they’ll let you know about it. It can be easy (and tempting) to ignore or even delete these comments to avoid dealing with them, but doing so can actually do serious harm to your reputation and social media goals.
Instead, as long as it’s constructive, acknowledge their complaint, apologize for your brand’s wrongdoing (if applicable), and promise to address it in the future. Ask for more details if necessary, but always do so recognizing the legitimacy of their concern. Handling and responding to negative comments constructively can do wonders for improving your brand reputation. It can also serve as a resource for other uses who may make the same complaint (if it’s an ongoing issue).
If the comment is unfair or untrue and the person simply doesn’t seem to want to engage in any type of resolution (just argue), a good way to defuse the situation is a simple request to contact your customer service department. By effectively ‘taking it offline’, you’ve demonstrated your willingness to try and solve the complainer’s issue, without engaging in a fruitless back and forth argument.
5. The Troll
Trolls seek to actively disrupt social media by posting purposefully nonsensical or inflammatory posts. In most cases, the adage don’t feed the troll applies: they’re looking for a response, so ignoring them is the most surefire way of making sure they stop posting. If the message is truly trolling (note that this is different than simply posting a bad reivew or negative comment about your brand), there is an option on Facebook to ‘hide’ a troll’s comment from the rest of your feed. If the comment is illegal or obscene, you can (and should) block the user from your feed and report the user to the network. It’s also a good practice to take a screenshot of the comment, just in case.
6. The Spammer
When someone begins to spam your account with promotional content or external links, simply delete their comment. You should also report it as spam so that the network knows about it and takes action if the spamming is a recurring issue.
Always Respond Using Your Brand Voice
The first four types of comment will be what you most often encounter on social media. While your individual response may differ, the key remains the same: respond swiftly, and in a way that is consistent with your brand.
If you can get away with an appropriate joke, go for it. But above all else, you should address the content matter in a way that leaves the commenter satisfied.