How to Respond to Comments on Your Business’s Facebook Page - dummies

How to Respond to Comments on Your Business’s Facebook Page

By John Haydon

When a Facebook user asks you a question or is interested enough in what you’re saying to post a comment on your update, he has invested time in the interaction. Not responding or acknowledging him in some way makes it seem like you’re ignoring him. Who wants to give their money to a company that ignores them even before a sale takes place?

If a user asks you a question, respond to it. If you receive a compliment, thank the person and reinforce your commitment to creating exceptional customer experiences. If you receive a negative comment, ask how you can improve the overall experience.

In short, every time someone reaches out to engage with your Page, engage with that person in return. Failing to reciprocate can potentially backfire or cause less revenue.

Although generally you want to respond to comments within 24 hours, in some cases — such as with an irate customer who is never going to be happy with anything you might say — you may be better off not responding at all. Trying to decide when and when not to respond can be tricky, so here are some tips to help you make this decision:

  • If a mistake was clearly made on your part, respond and correct the situation quickly. Apologies can go a long way if you explain that steps are being taken to correct the situation.

  • If someone leaves a negative comment about something that never actually took place or is based on incorrect facts, correct him. Always be polite because often people don’t realize they’ve made an error. If you don’t respond, however, this misconception could spread and escalate.

  • Try to salvage a bad situation. If you made a mistake and think you can put a positive spin on a bad experience or convince the customer to give you another chance, a response is appropriate to right the perceived wrong.

  • An irate person may never be satisfied, so you may be better off doing nothing. Sometimes people direct their frustration with the world toward you on Facebook. To know if that is the case, take a look at other comments she’s made. You may conclude it’s better not to enter a fight you’re never going to win. Instead, invest your efforts where you can have a positive result.

  • Don’t engage in a fight you can’t win. Sometimes a response does more harm than good. A negative comment or review can have a devastating effect on a company’s online reputation. However, you don’t want to engage in a back-and-forth that uncovers more cracks in the armor, so to speak. Often in these situations, just take a passive role as opposed to going for the jugular.

  • Don’t let anger derail your response. Disparaging Facebook comments can really make you angry. Rather than rattle off a negative response, either have someone else who is less emotional about the situation respond or wait until your emotions calm before responding. An angry response can really damage your relationship with the customer and can have a spill-over effect on all who read it.