Let’s face it, not everyone is going to be a fan of your company. If it hasn’t already, a day will come when someone will write something negative about your organization on social media.

But, have no fear! There are simple strategies that can help ease uncertainty about dealing with critics. Our PR agency uses the following strategies to help our content marketing clients manage and mitigate negative feedback on their social media pages.

Implement a social media policy

Just like you should have a communication plan in place for when a crisis strikes, your internal PR team or PR agency should have a plan for handling negative comments on social media. A social media policy will ensure everyone is on the same page with how to handle the good and the bad, including online criticism.

Respond in a timely manner

Social media is present online 24/7. So it’s important to react quickly to negative comments. Many angry or dissatisfied customers just want to vent their frustration and be heard. When you respond quickly, you can prevent the problem from becoming bigger than it needs to be. It will also show how responsive and efficient your customer service team is.

Own your mistakes

Sometimes your critics are right. Admitting you’re in the wrong can be a difficult thing to do. The thing to remember is when you’re open to hearing criticism, your customers will respect your company more, and they will see how important honest feedback is to you.

Apologize directly and be sincere

When communicating with unhappy customers through social media, sincerity and word choice are important. If an apology is in order, make it genuine. Hootsuite copywriter Andrew Pressault recommends avoiding the non-apology apology, in which the company subtly places blame on the customer.

Don’t let your critics do all the talking. Use these tips to be a part of the conversation and communicate your value. Contact our PR agency if you need help developing the right strategies for combating negative comments.