Business owners often ask me why they should participate on social media because they feel that doing so opens them up to unwarranted negative attention.

My response is always that whether you choose to participate or not, people will be online (or offline) saying good or bad things about your company. Your online presence as a business should simply be a reflection and extension of what you’ve been doing offline. Wouldn’t it be better if you could show all the things that make your company great, rather than letting people paint a picture that might be untrue or ugly?

Negative reviews or unwanted comments are a natural part of the social ecosystem. How you manage them is key to providing a great customer experience and maintaining a positive reputation.

There are a few different ways that you may need to deal with negativity online.


Any complaints about your product, service, or company experience should be taken seriously and responded to as soon as possible. This is a great opportunity to show you care about your customers and that you are quick to make wrongs right. If it’s a complaint made by way of public comment or online review, be sure to respond respectfully and publicly-apologize for the product or service not going as expected. Then, ask to reach out to them directly so that you can get more details and resolve their issue or make amends.

Rude Comments:

Create community rules. Develop a ‘Do’s & Don’ts’ guide and publish it on your website- this can be a helpful reference for your online community. If someone posts rude comments- calling someone a name, using foul language, or making an insulting comment that is unfounded or irrelevant- make it a policy to remove these comments without responding to them. If the comments continue from the same individual, send them a link to the community rules and let them know that under these guidelines, if they continue to make these types of comments, they will be banned.

Not sure where to begin with your community guidelines? Check out our free template:

How To Create Community Guidelines

At the end of the day, the people who communicate with you online are just people. Approach the social media environment with the humanity and dignity that you would in your place of business.

Take this blog post to go with this helpful infographic: Responding to Negativity Infographic

Want more tips like this? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and get fresh content direct to your inbox.