How to manage negative posts on my Facebook page
Managing a brand page on Facebook isn't an easy task. Replying negative posts while growing your fan base can be very challenging. Here are a few tips to manage this effort efficiently.
The most common question companies ask when coming to use Facebook (and other social media platforms) as a communication tool with their customers is: how to handle a negative Facebook post?
You mostly have three solutions: delete it, ignore it or reply it. But which solution is the best?
That might be the most urgent fear for most business owners about to move to the open community: how to open myself to the world without taking the risk of attacks.
Why using Facebook?
The first logical question to ask yourself when you decide to move your business to Facebook is: why?
Why do you want to establish your Facebook brand's page?
Facebook is usually used for "promotional" purpose. It can be for brand awareness, or to study the market. It can also be used to create a link with your customers and reduce the distance between the product and its users. It might also simply be to follow the trend and do like your competitors. Finally, you might simply want to use Facebook as a tool for sharing interesting content and videos.
In any case, you must have a reason to create your brand page. If the reason is somehow related to transparency and to creating a community, you have to play the game by its rules.
The most common question
"Can I delete a negative post from my Facebook page?"
No, you can't.
First of all, deleting a negative post would do nothing but upset the person who posted it. Most likely, this person would simply post it again. Even if he doesn't, he will surely share this new negative experience around him. In the end, you would have changed a disappointed customer in angry customer who would be more likely to share his bad feelings.
Moreover, bad comments are not such a bad thing as long as their ratio remains low. A page that displays a few negative comments among positive ones gives a much better feeling of transparency to its visitors. It shows that the brand isn't afraid of some bad comments and that the overall flow of customers' reviews is positive.
Finally, showing bad comments is the perfect opportunity to change them into positive ones: don't miss it!
How to answer a negative comment on my Facebook page
First thing first: before thinking about the message you want to send, consider the way of sending it.
The comment left on your page might be tough, unfair, even totally wrong. Even if it is the case, you must carefully observe the following rules:
- always be nice and polite
- always be humble
- forget who you are and put yourself in the poster's shoes
- imagine for a second that what the poster says is true
Now, you can consider the message itself. It could be something like that:
We are very sorry to hear about this issue as well as any inconvenience it may have caused".
After that comes the solution to the customer's problem. Don't start giving reasons or excuses: that is not what people are expecting to receive. Think in terms of solution.
If you can provide an answer that would solve future problems and create confidence among the community, then post your answer here.
If the problem could not be solved, would require some type of compensation or is simply too private to detail online, simply invite your customer to contact you privately (or even better, send him a private message) so that you could give him a more personalized answer.
In any case, do not ignore or delete a message: it would only make things worse.
The only situation in which you might delete a message is when this one is insulting, racist or related. In this case, remove the message and replace it with an explanation:
We accept all messages on this platform. Nevertheless, we feel unnecessary to use abusive language and decided to remove your comment. We invite you to communicate your point in a different way. Thank you for your understanding."
What about the timing?
The best time to reply a customer's message is always: as soon as possible.
You will probably want to consider your answer carefully, especially when the comment is negative. It might also be that you have a complicated structure and protocols making such messages go through a long process and involving many people or department before creating the proper answer.
The problem is: customers don't like to wait. Even more when the message is left on a public platform: they expect an almost instant reply.
Try your best to provide sufficient decision power (and training) to the person in charge of the page so that he could reply to most messages instantly without having to refer to his management team. This is another important element of Facebook pages handling.
And what's more?
It could be a good idea to sign your posts.
When you have a team of people replying Facebook comments, your visitors might not always face the same person replying their comments. Having your team always signing posts with their name is a way to make each answer more personal.
If you are not ready to face the risk that represents the transparency of a public platform, you should reconsider the idea of moving to Facebook. Creating a page where people could not express their feeling freely might backfire and harm your brand instead of enhancing its image.
If you should summarize this article in one single sentence, consider the following: "negative comments are not something to be afraid of: there are a good ways to both learn what your customers feel and change disappointed customers in true believers".
Now that you are handling replies on your Facebook page it might be a good idea to see how you could possibly improve the way you answer customers in general via email. To complete your reading, I invite you to check my article "How to answer customers emails".
Finally, my article "The mismanagement of customer's loyalty" might give you some tips on how to change simple customers into ambassadors of your brand.
Last update: 2017-09-17 Tags: facebook facebook page social media negative comments angry customer