Wouldn’t you love it if your company’s Facebook posts got the kind of engagement you see in the screenshot below? Look how many people are discussing this post! What if it were a Facebook post about how you screwed up your organization’s social media presence? That’s what’s going on here. Our friend Laurie, who has written for us in the past, was blocked at an organization’s Facebook page for saying something they disagreed with.
She immediately posted her comment — a courteous factual correction — on her own page, calling that other organization out for their social media faux pas. With a link to their page.
In fairness, I have to say that there were a lot of nasty posts on that page. Social media management folks are human, and can get frustrated and delete more than they should. We’ve been dealing with spam at a Facebook page ourselves and I bet I’ve deleted a thing or two that wasn’t actually spam. We also have some highly emotional comments at one of the blogs we take care of, and I’m holding a few in queue while we decide what to do with them. You have to think about the possibly delicate sensibilities of later visitors, after all.
Now that I’m through with being fair to that particular page, though, I think we all should learn a lesson about deleting comments, even when they’re negative.
Leaving a negative comment and responding to it gives you a chance to show that you’re a reasonable person, that you’re trying to solve your customer’s problems, and that you respect those who disagree with you. Our experience with dealing with negative comments has been that you can sometimes even change people’s minds. Deleting that comment can invite your adversary to take the fight elsewhere — possibly to a venue that you can’t control.
Think twice about deleting a comment. Even if the reply you end up with is, “Can we discuss this privately? Please email me and I’ll be happy to call you” or “Thank you for your feedback. We’ll make sure your comment gets to the right person” can defuse a situation and keep it from escalating.