One of the biggest and most common barriers to businesses using social media is a fear of negative comments of your brand and how you should deal with them. This is a genuine and real fear for those who aren’t familiar with how it all works.

I was at the Big social media conference last week and I have to say it was amazing to be around such wonderful influencers and positivity.  I was in my element as I was guilt free geekiness world for the 3 days!


The main topic for the panel discussion that I was involved with was how to turn a negative review or comment into a positive.  Here are some tips that Julia Bramble,Katie King and I came up with between us. When dealing with trolls (Who are different to annoyed customers).  Katie defined them as people who harrass others to get an emotional response whilst drawing on their anonymity  Or one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument. (Definition via Urban dictionary)

1. Don’t avoid social media if this fear is the only thing holding you back

2. The first thing to do is ensure you have a plan in place to deal with situations that arise. A good social media policily that all employees are aware of is essential.

3. Establish first is the person complaining a genuine customer or a troll

4. Respond or acknowledge – always do this anyway. Some customers just want to know that they have been seen and that they are being paid attention to.

5. Don’t say ‘sorry’ straight away. Say ‘sorry you feel that way’ – Acknowledge their anger or hurt without admitting you have done something wrong – get the exact details first.

6. Take the conversation offline to Direct message or email. Implement the plan swiftly.

7. Follow up – ensure that the complaint is dealt with by the correct person.

8. Encourage the customer to tweet about the result when they get a satisfactory response as other followers will want to know that you deal with complaints in an efficient and positive manner.

9. Remember customer feedback is an opportunity to gain valuable insight into how your customers feel and view you as a brand. (Julia mentioned that we should welcome opportunities to improve)

10. Take yourself away from the emotion and don’t take the complaints personally.

Remember happy customers will be your biggest marketeers so always nuture those relationships and keep engaging and interacting with them moving forward. There is always a way to turn negative experiences into a positive experience.

If the customer got something faulty, replace it. Send them a card, look out for them in future and see what they are up to. Express an interest in what they are doing. It’s all about people at the end of the day. Keep your customers happy and engaged and they will do your marketing for you!

Oh and by the way…..the only way to deal with trolls is to ignore. Just block….and ignore.

See the article that Manchester Evening news did here 

Other useful articles here 

If you would like a one to one consultation with me via Skype or a social media strategy for your business, get in touch by email –