Worried About Negative Comments on Facebook? - Free Guide

By Alyson Cadd   alyson@coremediamarketing.co.uk  Feb 2013

This subject has cropped up a few times with new clients and we want to address the issue here.  Firstly let’s look at the general principles of Facebook, which should follow more or less the principles of life. 

  • People prefer to do business with people they know – especially someone they like and trust.
  • People prefer people that make them feel good, amuse or inform them.
  • People like to talk (especially women like me!).

Compare this scenario – you have a friend who only ever calls you when they need to borrow money, or brag about their latest purchase/car/girlfriend and does not let you get a word in edgeways.  You also have a friend that calls to ask how you are, tell you the latest interesting gossip or funny story and wants to ask your opinion about something important.  

Which friend would you make time for? Maybe even invite them to meet your family or other friends?

Facebook is very similar – you want people to ‘Like’ you and take the time to not only read your posts but also to interact with you and share your posts on their own Facebook page for all their friends to see.  In order to do that you want to be pleasant and convey that not only do you have great products and services but that you are a trustworthy person with good manners and a sense of ethics. Someone they can identify with (and eventually do business with).

Joining The Conversation

A conversation, by definition, involves 2 or more people – it usually encompasses words, information, views, opinions and maybe humour but it may also involve body language, gestures, nodding, eye contact, hand shakes and many other things. Conversations involve a lot of structure and etiquette – something we learn as we grow up and defines us as human beings. As adults we would never start a normal conversation by saying “I am going to speak now but you can’t answer or interject anything.” That would make people just walk away.

Facebook is already hugely disadvantaged by the lack of visual and personal contact, limited to just a few words and images on a page. So to limit it further by making it a one-way conversation is to miss the point and will drive people away.

In reality, we have found that people rarely post aggressively nasty things on Facebook business pages – don’t forget -

  • They have to be registered users on Facebook and are traceable.
  • If you are a local business you will have a local community of people and customers and they will be wary of posting nasty stuff in their own ‘back yard’.

Turn a Negative into a Positive

If someone has a legitimate gripe about a product or service and it is responded to swiftly and pleasantly on Facebook it usually puts a positive slant on the issue and others will have more confidence in your company.  We suggest answering a post asap with ‘That is of great concern to us as we don’t usually xyz and complaints are so rare - our team will investigate this immediately and get back to you – please let Doreen have more details on doreen@ourwebsite.co.uk’  (give them a person’s name to make this personal and divert them away from Facebook).  But make sure ‘Doreen’ does deal with it quickly!  Once dealt with and resolved you can ask the customer to maybe respond to their own original post to say they are satisfied or post that yourself.  Then after a week or 2 delete or hide the post if you wish. 

Do not

  • Ignore the comment/complaint
  • Delete the comment immediately (unless profane/untrue/suspect)
  • Block the user immediately (unless the above applies)
  • Be offhand in response
  • Try and justify, refute or explain publicly on Facebook
  • Enter into an argument or make any accusations on Facebook
  • Make any promises you can’t deliver on Facebook
  • Give anyone's full name or personal contact details on Facebook

 

Spam With Everything

Other posts may appear that you feel are just cluttering up the page or another company promoting themselves (which in itself isn’t a bad thing unless what they are offering is competitive or even offensive). If you do feel a post needs removing you can delete or hide the post or mark it as spam. If another business or person repeatedly adds spam to your page follow the tips from Facebook below and add them to the Moderation Blocklist.

We would again stress that actually getting deeply negative comments on Facebook business pages are rare. However if you want to modify and minimise the slight risk you can utilise some settings on Facebook itself – but nothing beats providing good products and service and keeping your Facebook page upbeat and well monitored.

Some tips from the Facebook Help area:

How to Pro-actively Moderate Posts on My Facebook Page

There are 2 tools available to Page admins for proactively moderating content on their Page.

1. Moderation Blocklist

You can add comma-separated keywords to the moderation blocklist in order to prevent them from appearing on your Page. When people include blacklisted keywords in a post or comment on your Page, the content will be automatically marked as spam.


To add keywords to the blocklist:

  • From the top of your Page, click Edit Page
  • Select Manage Permissions
  • Type the terms you want to block in the Moderation Blocklist field, separated by commas

To unmark a post as spam, locate it in your Page's activity log, click the icon and select Unmark as Spam. To unmark a comment as spam, locate the comment on your Page, move your cursor over it and click on the X that appears. You can then click Unmark as Spam .

2. Profanity Blocklist

You can also proactively moderate posts on your Page by turning on the Profanity Blocklist, which will block the most commonly reported words and phrases marked as offensive by the broader community:

From the top of your Page, click Edit Page

Select Manage Permissions

Select an option from the menu next to Profanity Blocklist: none (off), medium or strong

What is the activity log on my Facebook Page?

Your Page's activity log is a tool that lets you review the history of your Page and change the settings of individual posts. Only Page admins can see the activity log.

To go to your Page's activity log:

From the top of your Page, click Edit Page

Select Use Activity Log

From your Page's activity log you can:

To some extent you can also manage who sees your posts by ticking this box

Post privacy gating

Allow me to control the privacy of new posts I make on my Page.

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