The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Reply to Negative Comments Positively in Business Social Media

One of the biggest challenges with social media is how to reply to negative comments in your business social media feeds. Comments on social media are the best sign ways to engagement. Small businesses are able to listen to the customer and determine the customer likes and doesn’t like. The hope is each comment will be uplifting and positive but sadly, that’s just not the case. So what do you do when Facebook comments are negatives? Follow these three steps when responding to upset fans on social media.

Reply to Negative Comments Quickly

Usually, negative comments occur because of these four reasons: a company error, miscommunication, a negative comment or technical error.  Avoiding or deleting the comment just adds fuel to the fire. It honestly doesn’t matter who’s wrong at this point. Your brand is on the line, so stand up for your brand. But do it quickly.  About 42% of social media users expect a reply in 60 minutes. Also, more than two-thirds want a response that same day. There’s urgency in your response. So how do you respond?    

Bank of America responded quickly, despite this negative comment. This customer service account responded in about eight minutes!

Bank of America's Twitter - Reply Negative Comments

Bank of America’s Twitter

Own up to the mistake

Reply to negative comments positively to take responsibility for the mistake. Though there’s a number of reasons the error occurred, the only thing that matters now is how your company will resolve it.  It’s important to be sincere regardless of the error.  Simply taking the time to reply to a post will help lighten the customer’s day. When responding, immediately apologize, thank the customer for the information and solve the problem. One thing to avoid is directing the customer to an online customer service form. The customer will feel brushed off with another form. See this example below:

Reply to Negative Comments Positively in Business Social Media

McDonald’s Facebook post

Instead, respond this:

“We are so sorry about your experience. We want to offer the best service. Please message us your number so we can speak with you directly.”

Offer an incentive

This strategy is more like when a husband messes up with his wife and he buys the biggest bouquet of roses to make up for it. An incentive kind of softens the damage, so to speak.  Sometimes there’s no solution to the customer complaint.  An incentive such as something free item or a coupon always helps. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture like the roses mentioned before, but discounts go a long way.

What are your tips for responding to negative comments? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


How to deal with negative Facebook comments on your brand’s page. (2014, September 29). Retrieved September 08, 2016, from

Doell, L. (2013, February 14). Social Media: 7 Ways to Handle a Negative Comment. Retrieved September 08, 2016, from
Tabaka, M. (2014). How to Handle Negative Feedback in Social Media Like a Pro. Retrieved September 08, 2016, from

©Morgane Bruce

Category: Advanced Tactics