5 Tips When Dealing with Negativity Online

Zoe Cairns is a Social Media Speaker, Trainer, Consultant, TV Commentator and co-founder of ZC Social Media. Zoe stays up to date with the latest social media practices and is committed to sharing as much as she can so those online, whether you are a business or school, can follow appropriate procedures and utilise social media in the best way. 

Generally speaking online, unfortunately people tend to voice more negative experiences than positive ones as this can help people vent, however this happens more so when they feel they have exhausted other options. 

Although social media can appear daunting to many, it’s important to understand that negative online comments aren’t disastrous if you handle them promptly and in the right way.  

It's important to note, whether your school is online or not, this has no effect on whether you receive negative comments as ultimately, if someone has had a bad experience in your school, they are likely to share it. The beauty of you being online is you can learn what people are saying - good or bad - and respond accordingly. 

Zoe shared her thoughts on how to effectively deal with negative comments on social media and expressed the following points:

1) Firstly, don’t delete negative comments as the creator will return to see if a response has been given. If they learn their comment has been deleted, this can cause more negativity and frustration and encourage them to continue sharing negative comments.

2) Always respond to negativity in a timely manner to show strong customer service. This will also help prevent people joining in and the conversation escalating. The longer the comment is public without a response, the worse this will look.

3) Customers always come first. For example, if you were in the hospitality industry, you would usually follow a complaints procedure and do all you can to put things right. Never encourage a debate online with unhappy 'customers'. Simply ask them to take the conversation offline to discuss their issue further. This can be done by giving them a relevant email address or contact number. You want people online to see you are dealing with the conversation.  Aim to make that negative into a positive. 

4) Go back online and show you have dealt with the situation to show you care. For example, ‘Thank you for sharing your comments, I hope I have provided you with a resolution to your issue and if there is anything else I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to email me.’ Deal in the same way as feedback would be dealt with - you would respond to all feedback, negative or positive, to ultimately improve your service.

5) One final tip is to ensure you have good monitoring software so you know what’s being said about your school/brand. Sendible is one platform Zoe recommends as this monitors keywords across all social media sites, the web and also Google Alerts. Twilerts is another of Zoe's favourites for specifically monitoring Twitter. 

The platform Hootsuite is another effective way of managing your social channels as you can view all engagement and activity in one place as well as schedule posts via the site. 

If you are interested in learning more about what Zoe had to say, check out Zoe’s Facebook video below: 

Remember, you are likely to still receive negative feedback about your school/brand whether you are present online or not. However, by you being present online through social media channels, you will be more aware of comments, positive or negative, which will allow you to respond accordingly in order to prevent further negativity.

We hope this has provided you some reassurance if you are deciding to take your school ‘online’ or develop your existing social media presence. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Kent-Teach team for advice. 

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