Dealing with social media negativity

Nearly all brands are now present on social media, and while this could provide many benefits, let’s face it—there will be negative feedback, and worse, trolls. Some of the comments should be taken as constructive criticism, which is welcome, but what could we do about those who seek to damage or malign our brand?

We asked Connie Kalagayan, our resource person on issues and crisis management, to shed some light on how best to deal with this very modern dilemma.


How should we deal with trolls on social media?

Whatever engagement a brand’s social media account generates should always be viewed as a feedback mechanism. It is a cause for concern only if it is pestered by trolls because it means that a certain group of people has an agenda regarding or toward the brand. Only react to credible influencers and respond to them through a PM, or private message. Drown the negative comments of trolls with positive messages.

If our customer posts a negative comment and it goes viral, do we keep silent?

The best strategy is to always reach out to the aggrieved customer. Find out details of his/her complaint and resolve the issue. It is also best to correct any misconceptions that are written about the product. Present the facts, show concern and reiterate your brand values. Keeping silent is tantamount to admitting guilt. However, weigh the issue because there are some cases when you need to let go and just ignore it especially if it has not gained traction, or there is no truth to the accusation and the customer is just trying to attract attention.

Should we screen our employees’ Facebook or social media accounts? If they are ranting about the company, what should we do?

First, it is important that a company should have a social media guideline that every employee should know and follow. Second, a company should have a social media manager who is always “on.” Part of the task of the social media manager is to monitor closely all public social media activities and do “listening” and “analytics.” It is unethical for an employee to rant against his/her own company. By using the company’s social media guideline, a company can dismiss an employee for violating this rule or policy.

Kalagayan will facilitate another run of “Crisis Communication: Responding to Media in Times of Crisis” on July 15.

For more information about the workshops or if you would like to add your input on the article, you may e-mail [email protected], call (632) 834-1557 or 771-2715 and look for Jerald Miguel or Karl Paz, or visit the website at

The author is the executive director of the Inquirer Academy.


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