The way you handle negativity on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter, or any other social media outlet will have a strong impact on how you’re viewed by those you are trying to reach. It’s difficult to know why some people leave negative comments or feedback for all to see on your social media outlet but figuring out their reasons for doing so isn’t as important as knowing how to handle their feedback. Try these 3 tips the next time someone leaves you with negative feedback and watch that negative turn into a positive.
1. Identify – Take a moment to look at what they’re saying. Is a problem being voiced? Are they attacking you or your company personally? Is it a case of constructive criticism? Or perhaps it’s outright spam? Understanding what type of negativity you are dealing with will help you determine your course of action.
2. Pause – After reading their scathing remarks your first reaction may very well be to lash out to make them feel incompetent while you defend yourself and your freedom of speech.
If it makes you feel better to write an angry response laced with why you did or said whatever it was to cause their negative feedback then go ahead and write it all down — get it out of your system. But once you’ve finished getting everything off your chest take a break to pause, re-read, and evaluate if that’s what you want not only them to read but also everyone else who’ll read your response. Before you click that submit button consider the outcome and consequences of your response.
3. Respond – Choose how you’ll respond to this person. Do you need to address the comment publicly or privately? Some comments you may wish to remove from your public discussion arena and address via private message or email. Other times you may deem it appropriate to address the comment publicly. The best rule of thumb to follow — if the comment is going to weaken your online presence and cast a shadow of doubt over your credibility then address it via private communication. You’re in control of your online presence and aren’t obligated to approve all comments. It is up to you to keep the peace and ensure you protect your online presence and reputation.