As communicators, we encounter lots of feedback and opinions. Some may even be negative comments on social media, where everyone has accessibility to provide their feedback and/or comment. Whilst we probably often receive positive comments, what do we do with the negative ones? This article will provide some tips and actions you may do to effectively handle a negative comment, whether it is about your management, the church, worship, or service.
Focus on the resolution
Whatever the situation or subject is, what’s important is to find a resolution to the issue. As communicators, social media handlers, or even just social media users, it is our responsibility to keep things orderly and peaceful in our social media feed. If ever trouble arises from the people commenting and posting negative stuff regarding us, be sure to focus on solving the problem rather than escalating it.
Don’t ignore the message, comment, or post.
You probably think that avoiding the comment is definitely the way to go, but that’s not what we should do. It is important as representatives of our churches to accommodate concerns, even if it promotes negativity in our feeds. It would leave a bad image for the church or a bad experience for the one who commented if their concerns aren’t attended to, especially if it’s valid.
Take it out of the spotlight.
The best thing to do is to de-escalate and talk it out personally or privately. A simple reply to the comment/post asking them to talk it out privately would give your church a professional and mature look and may solve the concern or issue of the person involved. Ask them to talk it out over coffee or even through private message. You could also let the pastor join in to help you find a resolution to the problem.
Hide or remove the comment/post
Hiding or removing posts or comments isn’t really a recommended response to negative comments, but certain situations are advisable. For comments that will possibly upset or offend other users—like violent remarks, racism, sexual, and other sensitive topics that don’t really invite a discussion—the best thing to do is remove or hide them. A word of caution, though, hiding posts or comments may be effective for keeping your timeline orderly, but the commenter and their friends may still be able to see their comment. Remember to inform the poster/commenter about why his comment or post is removed to avoid further issues.
Keep things light
As negative comments on social media may be harsh or painful. It is still best for you to answer and respond professionally. Apologize and explain your side if necessary, and always remember not to make any false promises, especially if you can’t resolve an issue. You could also keep things light with humor, yet this isn’t always advised. Maintain a tone where you show that you are welcoming feedback and are willing to hear the commenter or poster’s opinion.
When it comes to social media engagements, it is important to know that people will probably do what they want. So always expect to receive feedback on whatever it is you do. Just remember to keep it professional and speak in a friendly or light tone when handling troublesome fellows.
P.S. For tips on cultivating community through social media, click here.