What to do with the problem poster


By: Kristen Paquet, Sr. Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

If you aren’t new to social media, then there is a chance that you have run into the problem poster. You know the one – someone who has posted a negative comment or sent in a bad review of services they have received. Maybe it’s someone that is upset with a decision your business has made. No matter the reason, there are a few things to keep in mind when responding to this type of poster (and yes, you do need to respond).

Take a beat before responding. Suppress the urge to reply right away and be sure that you are being smart about how you respond. If it is a complaint or negative comment, consider consulting with others in your office on the best way to approach the situation.

Be professional and courteous. The poster may not have selected the best words to use when making their comment, but that doesn’t mean you get to do the same. Your online community is watching how you will respond to the situation, so be sure you are acting with a professional voice. If possible, end the conversation by suggesting you take the conversation off-line and supply your email or phone number.

Admit your mistakes.If you’re in the wrong, admit it (without placing blame somewhere else). Apologize for the error. Share how you will fix the situation. Move on.

Not all negative comments should be deleted. You are human, after all. You are bound to get a negative post at some point. But don’t feel like you have to get rid of them all (you do need to show some transparency). If you get negative feedback, do your best to rectify the situation. If the outcome ends on a somewhat positive note, keep the post on your feed. It will show your online community how you handle these types of situations.

If the poster keeps coming back. Sometimes, you just aren’t going to make someone happy, no matter how hard you try. If the comments begin to contain swear words or inappropriate language, feel free to block them.

Be diligent with monitoring. Keep up with daily monitoring of your platforms and check out online reviews to learn what people are saying about you. Social listening is quickly becoming just as important, if not more, as the content you develop.

Negative comments are part online communication. Having a plan to deal with them when the problem poster appears will help your company respond in a productive way.