Today, companies big and small use social media as a way of marketing their products and services. Social media also provides a platform for interaction between brands and customers.

Many customers find social media the best way to get in touch with brands and look for a quick response and direct access. However, with the good comes the bad, and social media is not always about happy comments and grateful customers. At times, customers flock to a brand's social media page to express concerns or complaints; often, when that happens, account managers panic.

How can companies appropriately respond to negative social media comments? That is what this article explores, also providing a few examples of how some companies have actually turned negative social media into positive PR.

Do's and Don'ts of Dealing With Negative Social Media Comments

Social media account managers should always respond to complaints received via social media. Responding shows that you are listening to customers and acting on their concerns.

If the issue is complex, consider taking it out of the spotlight; social platforms may not be the best place to resolve it. Offer to continue the conversation via a more appropriate medium—whether that's the phone, email, or an existing support forum online.

Responding quickly and with care, however, is essential. The quicker you reply, the more likely your customers will feel you think they are important; you also give the commenter less time to complain again. That is why companies should have staff monitoring their social media accounts every day.

When dealing with complaints, think of the bigger picture and the effect public complaints will have on your business. Following up with customers is a good way to make sure they are happy with how you have addressed and remedied the situation.

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image of Carla Ciccotelli

Carla Ciccotelli is marketing and campaigns manager at Digital Visitor, a social media agency delivering creative, results driven social media campaigns for travel, tourism, leisure, and hospitality businesses globally. Reach her via

LinkedIn: Carla (Ciccotelli) Ryan