Nine effective ways for
brands to manage negative social media comments
by Michael Field from
Consumers increasingly use the internet to research
products before they purchase. In particular, ‘conscious
consumers’ - which describes consumers who look beyond the
label to learn more about a company's environmental, ethical
and social footprint. This guides purchasing decisions which
translates to the purchasing power.
Company managements have developed more robust and
sophisticated ways to manage and respond to negative social
media articles, comments and reviews. Management responds to
social media comments on behalf of the brand, by publishing
press releases or statements addressing or refuting the
negative claims made against them, and asserting their
position as an ethical, reliable and trustworthy brand.
In the case of Capilano Honey and its chief executive
officer Dr McKee, it would appear that a legal course of
action was justified given the intensity, ferocity and
volume of negative commentary produced by Shane Dowling and
published on his Kangaroo Court of Australia website and
promoted across their various social media channels. Today,
the Kangaroo Court of Australia Facebook page has 23,437
followers, and their Twitter account has 8,574 followers.
What are 9 effective ways
for brands to manage negative social media comments?
Brands and their marketing teams must have adequate
systems in place to monitor and respond in real time to
negative social media comments effectively.
These are 9 effective ways a brand can manage negative
social media comments:
- Monitor your company’s first point of customer
contact such as: customer complaint logs, chatbot and
chatbox comments and conversations, inbound emails.
- Implement a customer satisfaction rating system such
as Net Promoter Score to identify issues early and look
for trends or common areas of customer complaints.
- Actively monitor traditional media such as print,
radio and television for any mentions of your brand
(positive and negative) using a third-party monitoring
- Use online alert tools to track online mentions of
- Deploy social listening tools to monitor the brand's
social media channels for any customer feedback and
direct mentions or discussions regarding specific
keywords, topics, competitors, or industries.
- Ensure the communications and marketing teams are
adequately resourced with the right tools.
- Have active management plans in place such as
‘Social Media Membership and Participation Guidelines’
including agreed escalation points that are captured in
the risk management plan linked to brand and
- Respond courteously and quickly and aim to move the
conversation offline as quickly as possible by inviting
the customer to connect with a company representative
who has the authority to respond to, and remedy the
- Finally, and this is often overlooked, actively
encourage satisfied customers to write reviews
highlighting the positives. This softens the blow if
there is one or two dissatisfied customers compared to
hundreds of satisfied customers.