Every single minute, more than 500,000 comments are posted on Facebook.
Social networking sites have introduced us to a unique social experience. It is one which transgresses geographical boundaries, religious dogmas, gender biases, and age differences. These sites have become an integral part of our daily lives, and largely define who we are. In an age that is ruled by technology, staying away from virtual socializing is hardly an option for those who want to discover new horizons, be it business or pleasure.
Several business units utilize social networking platforms, especially Facebook, to reach out to various kinds of people. This has significantly changed the traditional customer and service provider relationship, by bringing instant dissatisfaction under the scanner. Negative comments and complaints on Facebook can have serious repercussions for a company's or person's image. If it isn't handled with a little tact, the matter can escalate, scarring the company's or individual's goodwill. If you are one of those trying to understand how to deal with virtual inappropriateness, here's how you can do it.
Tackling Negative Comments on Facebook
☛ Never Delete Negative Comments
Deleting comments or data on the Internet is rarely possible, as it leaves its trace somewhere or the other. Similarly, deleting comments on Facebook wouldn't really serve your purpose. Deleting the comment would also mean that you are guilty of something, and are too ashamed to let others see it. Additionally, the other side of deleting a comment can be provoking the commentator to go on saying something more, until the point is proven. If the comments sway on the lines of racism, derogatory language, obscenity, or pornographic matter, then you can surely block the user.
☛ Reply Immediately and Positively
Time is an important factor while trying to deal with negative comments on Facebook. Replying immediately satisfies the commentator at some level. Also, a negative response can go viral on the Internet like wildfire. Avoid being answerable to a million people, by replying to just one person or a certain group quickly. Never leave a negative comment unattended for more than 12 hours. Keeping it unanswered for days can make the commentator desperate for answers, making the person comment more than one time.
☛ Do Not React Aggressively
While you are attempting to reply in a jiffy, keep your cool. Take a moment, collect your thoughts, and find the right words before you comment. Crosscheck the comment before it goes live, with your peers and colleagues. It must provide very little chance to carry on the argument with the replies. A slightly rude defense from your side can make the commentator's friends and followers join the scene, attracting unnecessary attention towards the matter, than it actually deserves.
☛ Take the Conversation Offline
A wise thing to do is to take the entire conversation away from your wall and to the commentator's inbox. Send a message instead of a reply to the complain on your wall. However, do inform the person on the comment that you have 'inboxed' or sent a message, which they need to check. You can also seek another method of direct communication in this scenario. For example, provide your manager's number, who is in a better place to explain what went wrong. Invite the customer over to your outlet to sort out the matter, or send a spokesperson over to apologize in person. Avoid any peacemaking deal such as an additional discount, free gift vouchers or goodies, on the wall, as it might encourage your other followers to use these methods too.
☛ Be Alert Always
Facebook provides a very convenient and intelligent option to find out every time someone posts something on your wall. This way, every time you get a comment, you will be notified via mail, in the collective notification section, and if your Facebook account is linked to your phone, then on your phone too. The mail option also gives you an added advantage of documenting negative comments for future references.
☛ Block Troublemakers
You could also install filters to block out certain people who are just out there to create a nuisance. These filters give you the option of choosing a few words, by which, automatically certain comments will be blocked and hidden.
Managing a Facebook page requires dedication and diligence. The page administrator has to be on his toes to answer every query and thank every compliment which gets posted on the wall. A Facebook page is your identity, as reaching out physically is not always possible. Thus, protecting it is extremely important. But the same needs to be done with the right tone and some tact.