Any seasoned blogger or social media marketer will be able to tell you war stories about awful comments, negative feedback, or surprising responses they’ve gotten to content that they have published. Unfortunately, negativity and the Internet seem to go hand in hand. As a blogger, you’ll often get positive responses to your writing, and people will tell you that your writing has inspired them or given them great advice. The same rings true for social media marketers. However, we need to be prepared to deal with the negative comments as well.
Bloggers, celebrities, and everyday people alike have made the news when they’ve decided to quit blogging or participating on social media due to cruelty. Not long ago, Zelda Williams, the daughter of the late Robin Williams, shut down her Twitter account because of a group of people who were tormenting her about her father.
It seems like people sometimes see other humans on the Internet as less than human. Sometimes, we don’t put a face with an online account and don’t feel the need to use common human decency towards others.
Here are a few ways to deal with comments or interactions that are less than desirable on your blog (or otherwise):
Moderate Your Comments
Many blogs and business social media pages allow people to comment freely. However, one rude comment can spiral into a whole thread of negativity. Nip that in the bud by not publishing these comments or by addressing the criticism. This is not to say that you should delete comments that simply disagree with your point of view. A friendly debate isn’t a bad thing.
Have People Sign In to Comment
From what I see, it seems that people are less likely to spew hateful comments when these comments are tied to their name or account. While this isn’t a foolproof strategy, it may cut down on negativity.
Have a Comment Policy
By setting clear boundaries, this spells out what types of comments are deemed appropriate on your blog. This allows you to deal with any comments including spam, racist language, offensive language, off-topic comments, graphics, personal information, or comments containing links just to name a few.
Post Things that are Relevant to Your Industry
Resist the urge to post on your blog or social media page as social commentary on news stories or cultural happenings unless they are directly related to your brand. If you are running a business blog in particular, I find that keeping your voice neutral when it comes to politics or religion can help to keep negative comments to a minimum.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.