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How to Turn Negative Social Media Into a Positive

by Carla Ciccotelli  |  
April 4, 2014

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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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

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  • by Michelle S. Fri Apr 4, 2014 via web

    Great recos and's another one that just came out from Honey Maid:

  • by Scott Laughlin Fri Apr 4, 2014 via web

    Fantastic! I LOOOOOL'd three times. Best uses of adversity to capitalize on brand and stand your ground. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • by Katarina Wrigh Sat Apr 5, 2014 via mobile

    Great examples - here is one of my other favorites, from 2012:
    Smart Car USA turned a snarky bird poop comment into a shareable infograph

  • by Venu Sun Apr 6, 2014 via web

    Nice article. Enjoyed reading.

  • by Davina K. Brewer Mon Apr 7, 2014 via web

    Love. Michelle already shared the one from Honey Maid, which was a very positive classy turn. Think these fall into the braver, a bit snarkier style that can work if it matches the brand. Hat tip to the businesses smart enough to know that one 'bad' tweet isn't the end of the world; that you can't please everyone on SoME, so it's a waste of time and money to even try. Part of being a strong brand is building a reputation, it's having a voice, a personality - and sticking to it. These are all good examples of that, done in ways customers relate to. FWIW.

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