Responding to comments on social media is something that every business owner/manager should be doing as part of their social media routine. Not just the happy stuff, or the questions about a product but also the negative or neutral comments that appear. This should be part of your daily social media routine – not just something that commands your attention when you see a negative review or comment. But why should you respond to social media comments? Let’s take a look at the reasons and how you should be responding.

Responding to Negative Comments

Your first thought is one of absolute horror – everyone can see this – Oh no – what if everyone believes it and no one wants to buy your products or services? Firstly, take a step back and consider the comment, Is it fair and reasonable or is it just slanderous. as business owners, we are always happy to hear the good stuff and see the positive reviews but it can be more difficult to hear negative feedback. More so if it’s either true or grossly unfair. First, assess the comment, Is it valid? If it is then how are you going to assess it. Perhaps it was a delivery issue – something you could answer like this

  1. Personalise your response – use the person’s name – often with social media when you hit reply, it will tag the person.
  2. Emapthsie and show understanding. “We are so sorry for the delay in your delivery.”
  3. Why did it happen? Don’t make up some fabricated excuse – look at why it happened and explain. “We were waiting for your products to come into stock”, “we had an issue in the warehouse”. Just a brief reason that explains
  4. Offer a solution – “We are going to get your product to you on X date”
  5. Offer a goodwill gesture “As a gesture of goodwill we are sending you a discount code for your next order”.

These responses show that you care, that you are taking the feedback seriously and that you are a company that acts. this will go much further than ignoring the comment, hiding it or deleting it.

According to The Sprout Social Index™ 2023, 51% of surveyed consumers say the most memorable brands on social respond to customers.

If the comment is slanderous, report it to the support team for the platform it has been left on.

Responding to ambiguous comments

If there is a one-word comment, an emoji, a thumbs up, a thumbs down, acknowledge it. If it’s a thumbs up then heart or like the comment. If it is a negative emoji then ask if you can help.

At least react to the comment with a reaction emoji rather than ignoring it.

Responding to positive comments

If you have 20 comments that are all brilliant don’t be tempted to do a copy and paste. Respond personally. When you hit reply, it should stage the person – then write a bespoke comment in the reply. Spending 20 minutes responding to a bunch of comments will be 20 minutes well spent. If you don’t have the time to do it, perhaps there is someone in the office who can thank them, acknowledge them and encourage the conversation. This is what social media is all about.

Respond to comments on a post where you have asked a question

If you are asking a question with your post and people are taking the time to respond, the least you can do is respond to them. If you really are pushed for time and there are many comments, just use the reaction emoji to love, like, laugh or react accordingly.

The benefits of responding to social media comments

  1. Engagement: Responding to comments demonstrates that you are actively engaged with your audience. It fosters a sense of community and encourages further interaction, leading to increased engagement metrics such as likes, shares, and comments.
  2. Building Relationships: Engaging with comments allows you to build meaningful relationships with your audience. By acknowledging their input, answering their questions, and addressing their concerns, you can establish trust and loyalty, turning followers into brand advocates.
  3. Feedback Loop: Comments can provide valuable feedback on your products, services, or content. Responding allows you to gather insights into what your audience likes or dislikes, helping you refine your strategies and improve your offerings.
  4. Humanising Your Brand: Interacting with comments adds a human touch to your brand. It shows that there are real people behind the account who care about their audience, rather than just automated posts. This humanisation can enhance brand perception and make your brand more relatable.
  5. Opportunity for Dialogue: Responding to comments opens up a dialogue with your audience. It encourages two-way communication, allowing you to better understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. This dialogue can lead to deeper connections and a stronger sense of community.
  6. Increasing Reach: Engaging with comments can extend the reach of your content. When you respond to comments, it often triggers notifications for the users who left those comments, prompting them to revisit your post and engage further. Additionally, active engagement can signal to social media algorithms that your content is valuable, potentially increasing its visibility.
  7. Managing Reputation: Social media comments can sometimes contain negative feedback or criticism. Responding promptly and professionally allows you to address these concerns transparently, showing that you take customer satisfaction seriously. Managing negative comments effectively can help protect your brand’s reputation.
  8. Opportunity for Upselling or Cross-Selling: Engaging with comments presents an opportunity to subtly promote your products or services. For example, if someone asks a question about a particular product, you can respond with additional information or suggest related products that might interest them.

So, as you can see, it’s not just about engaging with your audience and showing the wider community how your business deals with it’s customers but also about elevating your brand and offering an opportunity to increase sales. A few minutes here and there could make all the difference!