How to Handle Negative Posts on Social Media

There are many benefits to having a social media strategy and using it to connect with your audience. However, along with that comes some fears. The top one being:

"What do I do when someone posts something negative about me or my company?"

If someone wants to voice a complaint online, they’ll find a way whether you are on social media or not. They’ll leave a review on Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor, or their own Facebook feed.

If you are active on social media and they leave a review, you’ll be able to respond and handle the complaint instead of having no control over it. This is also an opportunity to publicly show your audience your customer service skills and how you can take care of your customers. So that you can be on top of any potentially negative posts about your company, set your notifications to make you aware of any new question or comment on your social accounts.

Someone complained. Now what do I do?

1. Respond immediately and do not delete it (unless it is offensive to the rest of your audience, such as profanity or racist comments.) Not responding looks like you are trying to ignore the issue. People can see your response and see that you are attempting to solve the problem. This communicates that you value their business and their opinions. If you have to look into the situation, respond immediately with, “We are looking into this and will be in touch as soon as possible. If needed, please contact me at XX.”

2. Stay positive and professional. Be aware that the complaint most likely comes from an unhappy customer that just wanted a better experience. Remember there is a person behind the complaint.

3. Ask how you can solve the problem. Try to make it right even if you have to offer a refund, coupon on future purchase or an opportunity to speak with the owner/president of the company.

4. Be as transparent as you can online, but deal with the details of the situation (refunds, offers, etc.) privately if possible. Ask the customer to email you directly or send you a private Facebook/Twitter message.

5. Once you’ve solved the problem, you can ask that the customer remove the negative post. Explain that their comments are important to the success of your business.

6. If the situation can’t be solved, apologize and say you are constantly trying to improve. Often times, other customers will comment something positive and help the situation.


  • If the user is constantly starting arguments and is not willing to work with you to solve the problem, you can ban the user. As my friend, Erin Richardson says so often, "You Can’t Negotiate with Terroists or Argue with Crazy.”
  • In addition to social comments, make sure you are watching reviews on third-party sites such as Google+, Yelp and TripAdvisor.
  • To bury bad reviews, ask satisfied and happy customers to leave a positive review of your company and their experience.

Need help managing your social media? Get in touch with us.