Social Media is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Boldness is in full force when for some when they are typing as opposed to speaking. Sometimes the page owner makes an error or posts something that offends. When this happens those who are offended make no bones about letting the page owner or person behind the Twitter handle know about it. Once the fire burns other are more then happy to come by with gasoline. If you are not careful things can explode quickly and you will feel the fallout in your stats. It can happen in a matter of minutes or linger on for a day or two. It never lasts long since social media has a short attention span. However, in that short amount of time you can lose a significant portion of followers and fans. How do you handle it?
First, do NOT respond the moment after reading a negative comment. Take a few minutes or so and think. You want to respond not react. Decide if a response is even necessary. Often the fire dies if we leave it alone. If you decide to respond do so by validating the concern, unless it is inflammatory and uses bad language, and then be kind but firm about your position. People will respect that even if they disagree. If you decide an apology is in order then do so…people respect that also. If the comment was insulting and harsh, then simply remove it. You can explain why or just let it go.
Second, do not feel like this one comment will ruin your entire reputation. It’s okay. Some people are just waiting to pounce on you. Everyone out there in the social media realm has faced negative comments. It can be hurtful. In fact, it can be more hurtful then you realize if it has yet to happen to you. Relax, you will get over it and sadly get used to it. Believe it or not you will come to a point when you feel okay with people unliking your page or unfollowing you if they are a problem.
Third, remember that the person behind the comment probably does not see you as a person. The person sees you as an idea, a concept, a blog, an opinion, but not a flesh and blood person. Often those online with even a semi-large following are elevated in the minds of the readers. It’s sad but true. The person is attacking an idea not you.
So, in the end, the event will fade away. You may want to quickly post about something else to distract from the other discussion. If you chose to respond then do so calmly and kindly. Do not let it get you down, it happens to all of us.