Thinking About Deleting That Negative Facebook Comment? Don’t!

It’s not unusual. After all, it’s basic human nature … we want to make everyone happy at all times. However, this desire simply is not realistic. You see, at some point, every single one of us will do something, hopefully unintentionally, that is going to rile someone else up. And it’s no different when it comes to your business.

Sure providing quality products and customer service is of paramount importance. Without doing so, you’ll see your brand suffer and your profit margins slowing and even plummeting. However, even top tier customer service and the best products in the world will eventually find some disenfranchised customer coming up with a reason to complain– that’s human nature also.

That said, what happens when the customer brings his complaint to your Facebook page and makes it public for all your fans’ eyes to read? How should you react to avoid further humiliation and defuse the situation?

I know exactly what you’re thinking: DELETE IT! Of course, that’s your first response. But I’m here to tell you otherwise. In fact, deleting that negative comment could be the worst move you could make for a number of reasons:

  1. You’ve been given an opportunity to change their mind — While you likely see the negative comment as a threat to your brand, I’d like to argue that it’s actually an opportunity. Since the customer has brought his grievance to you, that shows he is passionate about whatever problem he has. And while the current passion is negative, the fact is that the passion for your product remains. Since social media is all about conversation, seize the opportunity to engage the upset customer and fix the problem. If you can do something to make them happy, you not only won over a new customer but you also showed your entire fan club just how hard you will work to create satisfied customers. Talk about building loyalty! Just be careful not to get defensive, as a company on the defensive is often in the wrong.
  2. It gives you an opportunity to improve — While criticism is often difficult to face, the truth is that if we are open to it, then we can learn to make our product and service offerings better. In other words, rather than being scared of negativity, you should embrace it and allow it to act as a catalyst for change in your company. Once customers see that you’re not only listening to their feedback, but you’re actually reacting accordingly, they will develop a closer bond with your brand.
  3. Better they gripe here than elsewhere — Allow me to draw a sports analogy here. Say you’re a football team about to face your arch rivals. Now imagine you’re given a choice: play them in their own city, or face them in your home stadium. Which would you choose? Obviously you’re going for the home court advantage, right? Well, same thing goes for your business. Where would you rather deal with complaints — on your Facebook page where all your loyal followers can stick up for you or on some random blog somewhere on the Internet where you have no real say so? Handle the conversation at home!

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three ebooks, including My Facebook Formula, a free report on Facebook and why you should be using the largest social network for your business, here:

4 Responses

  1. William White says:

    That advice hits the target for me and my experience. thanks for sharing.
    — Bill

  2. John says:

    I usually think this is sounds advice, however I also think there are times when commenters that are just repeatedly spewing the same comments over and over and over again really just need to stop or have their comments removed as they are adding no value to the conversation. I know this is a weird stance to believe in both side, but when a single person is just droning on and on about something that will not change or get answered then you would think they would get the hint, but that does not usually happen. I agree with the overall message here, but don’t agree to it as a hard and fast rule.

  3. Dave Dalton says:

    @John: I would agree with the article. I get what you are trying to say, but in the end someone that repeatedly makes annoying/offensive comments and is being answered to politely and reasonably will either give up or his comments will lose credibility in the face of every other reader. Your image, on the contrary, will gain from it immensely.

  4. […] wrote a post where I argued you shouldn’t delete negative Facebook comments. Given that, the title of this post might surprise you. After all, how can I tell you not to delete […]

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