Mar 12 How To Handle Negative Blog Comments
If youâ€™ve ever written a blog post, read a blog, or had an opinion on anything in the blogosphere at all, chances are youâ€™ve encountered a negative comment. In some cases, the vitriol of negative comments are the driving force behind the blog itself (see also: Gawker Media, Inc.), but, in my opinion, constant snark does not a credible blog make.
Balanced is the key word here; incorporating both the yin and yang of the blogosphere. You donâ€™t want a blog that reads like an overly processed, censored corporate document. The rough edges are what give blogs the patina of authenticity that attract readers. But too much negativity, and your blog can seem petty and immature.
Negative comments make people nervous. Perhaps you care less when someone tells you that they hated the post you wrote on your personal blog about your cats, but when someone is knocking your brand, or worse, a brand for whom your services have been contracted, it takes a strong stomach to let those comments ride. But trust me, itâ€™s worth it. A few negative comments are not going to be the undoing of your company, and in fact, can be a strong opportunity to prove yourself.
Below are a few helpful tips for how and why to handle negative blog comments.
- Donâ€™t Delete â€“ Much as you may be tempted, donâ€™t automatically delete every negative comment. People will sense that your blog has been wiped clean and resent the censorship. Leaving negative comments shows that you respect other peopleâ€™s perspectives and opinions. They, in turn, will have more respect for yours.
- Respond â€“ Take the time to respond to comments left about your brand, and respond promptly. People will respect you for not ducking away from the fight. Additionally, people have an easier time being nasty about some amorphous, faceless company. If you give them a human face, chances are theyâ€™ll be more inclined toward a respectful interaction. You can keep tabs on comment mentions of your product or brand by using Backtype, which, according to Brian Chappell, is an excellent comment tracking tool.
- Be Honest â€“ Donâ€™t say something that youâ€™re unsure of or make promises you canâ€™t keep. Because if you do, and you are later proven wrong or â€œfound out,â€ that will destroy your credibility and can seriously damage your reputation. Donâ€™t be that girl!
- Be Humble â€“ You donâ€™t know everything, and readers know that. Make sure you approach the situation with that in mind. Consider the comments that people are making; could you be wrong? Is there some part of what they are saying that you could use to refine your product/business/service? Even though itâ€™s difficult, try and leave your defensiveness behind and see what information can be gleaned from the exchange.
- Moderate â€“ Just because youâ€™re committed to letting people have their opinions, doesnâ€™t mean that you have to let them run rampant. If someone is leaving harassing comments full of expletives, then clearly itâ€™s time to engage the delete button. Thatâ€™s the kind of stuff that ruins someoneâ€™s credibility, and other readers will ignore their sentiment anyway.
And if youâ€™ve really got a sense of humor, you can do what Pizzeria Delfina did and turn your negative into a positive. Or at least some pretty hilarious reading material for your customers.