How to Beat Negative Social Media

June 9, 2014 in Blog, Marketing Monday

howtobeatnegativesocialmediaThe climate is changing. It used to be – that if someone had a problem with you – they came to you to tell you to your face – or they gossiped about you behind your back. These days, social media means just about anybody can give you a black eye, and think nothing of it.

I’ve had my share of trolls try to knock me (and my billy goat friends) off the bridge. So let me give you some tips for handling negative social media.




  1. Monitor your Social Accounts regularly.People often “set it and forget it”. You’ve got to make sure to check to see if someone has messaged, tweeted, commented, or tagged you in a post. Stay on top of it – every day. Even if it’s just a quick check. Monitoring is important. It’s also good to be sure your employees are monitoring, and let you know if they see anything posted elsewhere. It’s also helpful if you set up a Google Alert that will email you anytime something new is posted about you online.
  2. The Customer is always right…. most of the time….Make “The Customer is Always Right” your mantra. Chances are good that you will get the occassional customer who is just being a tool that bashes you, and they are not right. But if we are honest with ourselves, and keep our egos in check – nine out of ten complaints are legitimately from a customer who had a bad experience. Sometimes they want compensation – sometimes they might just want a public apology. Before you assume that you complainant is just spouting off, or is a deadbeat, or is just trying to get their meal for free – START with the assumption that you are at fault, and that your desire is to make it right.
  3. Don’t Delete – EngageIf it’s an obviously insulting or “trolling” comment  – just delete it. Mostly – you’ll get something like this: “I had a burger at Bob’s Burger Shack. The burger was undercooked and my server was rude.”   These comments shouldn’t be deleted. Just reply with an apology, and encourage them to contact you offline (give them a number or email address) so that you can make it right.
  4. Make it Right.How much can it cost to give the guy another burger, right?
    Now obviously – some situations are going to be different. But hopefully GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE and QUALITY are hallmarks in your business model. If the customer is not happy, than you’ve got to do your best to make them happy. You will NOT make everyone happy. But you can try!
  5. Don’t Freak Out.Don’t insult. Don’t panic. Don’t REACT. Just calmly try to make it right. Sometimes – you just can’t beat the negative PR. You screwed up – and now the world sees it. DO NOT REACT IN ANGER to the situation. Even if it is not your fault. Try to turn the online conversation into an offline conversation – so that your other readers see that you are doing something to work it out.
  6. Bury it.Do you have a negative review on the front page of your YELP? Can’t delete it? Than work hard to BURY it. Start soliciting every positive review that you can – and direct those clients/customers/friends to the place you want them to post. Usually, a website like that has five to ten “top” reviews that show up first. So solicit enough to bump the negative review down a few pages!
  7. Don’t assume that because someone challenges you, corrects you, disagrees with you publicly that they HATE you. Most likely they are either “trolling” (posting negatively for the fun of it), or they have a legitimate customer service complaint, or they are just ignorant fools. But don’t assume that the public confrontation is motivated by hate – and then be sure to respond with kindness and patience. It works most of the time!