How to Deal With Negative Comments on Social Media

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Sell or Be Sold" by Grant Cardone. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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How do you deal with negative comments on social media? Why do you need social media for sales?

Negative comments on social media can tarnish your brand reputation which affects sales. You can deal with negative comments by preemptively creating a positive brand image, and addressing the complaints of unhappy customers as soon as possible. You need social media for sales because it helps new buyers find you, and it reminds existing customers of your existence.

Read on to master how to deal with negative comments.

Dealing With Negative Comments

Many people try to save time by avoiding social media. However, having a social media presence is critical to sales and can actually save you time if you use it properly. (Shortform example: If you provide information about your products and prices online, people might approach you instead of you having to track them down.)

You need a social media presence because it helps people find you and regularly reminds them of your existence. Today, most people’s first step to making a purchase is to research products, companies, and potentially even individual salespeople online. You need to be online so people can find you, and you need to be active online so people regularly encounter you. You want to become so prevalent in people’s minds that whenever they think about buying something, they think about you first. 

As far as what to actually post, think of social media like going to a party—your job might come up in conversation, but most of the conversation will be about social things. Cardone suggests looking at his Twitter and Facebook accounts to get a sense of the balance.

Another major topic when it comes to social media is how to deal with negative comments. Before social media, if people had a bad experience with you or your company, they’d tell the people they knew. Today, a bad online review can reach thousands of people, and if you get more than a few bad reviews, you’ll start losing customers.

You’re inevitably going to have to deal with negative comments at some point for three reasons:

  1. As soon as something starts getting attention it also attracts criticism.
  2. Unhappy customers are more likely to write reviews than satisfied ones.
  3. There’s no fact-checking process for reviews, so people can write whatever they want, even if it’s not true.

Here’s how to deal with negative comments on social media:

  • Preemptively create a positive image before anyone attacks you. Encourage your happy customers to leave reviews or give testimonials, and run campaigns about the good things your company does, such as sponsoring community events or making donations. If someone posts something negative later, you can deal with negative comments by leveraging the positives to outweigh it.
  • Give your social media reputation the same weight as your personal reputation. Take attacks seriously and deal with them personally.
  • Deal with negative comments and reviews as soon as possible. If handled correctly, these are opportunities, not problems, because customers will appreciate a quick, effective resolution so much they might change their minds about their complaints and become fans. Cardone’s policy is that all complaints go straight to him.
  • Contact complainers directly. If you post publicly, you’ll draw attention to the problem.
  • Don’t ask people to take down their comments or suggest that they were unfair. Your response should be to ask people how you can solve their complaints. If you do this well, they’ll probably take down the complaint of their own volition, or post a positive comment about how easy and fast it was to get the complaint solved.
  • Avoid trolls. Some people on the Internet just want to stir up trouble, so if someone’s looking for a fight and not a solution, don’t engage.
How to Deal With Negative Comments as a Salesperson

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Joseph Adebisi

Joseph has had a lifelong obsession with reading and acquiring new knowledge. He reads and writes for a living, and reads some more when he is supposedly taking a break from work. The first literature he read as a kid were Shakespeare's plays. Not surprisingly, he barely understood any of it. His favorite fiction authors are Tom Clancy, Ted Bell, and John Grisham. His preferred non-fiction genres are history, philosophy, business & economics, and instructional guides.

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