Marketing teams live and die by reviews. Diligent customers will always look through reviews before purchasing, and a few negative reviews can turn savvy consumers away.

However, the popularity of social media means negative reviews are unavoidable. Almost every Twitter post elicits a mixed reaction, and there’s no telling who will choose to leave a comment on your Facebook feed.

Navigating negative social media comments with decorum and grace is essential. You can’t lash out at folks who leave a negative comment, but you also can’t afford to leave their comments unaddressed. Instead, learn to turn negative comments into positive marketing for your business.

Why Should You Respond?

Responding to negative comments online may seem like a hassle. After all, you can’t tell who the users are or if they’ve ever even tried your product or service. However, using social media to manage your online presence is essential. Not addressing negative comments can tank your brand reputation and lead to a PR nightmare.

Addressing negative reviews promptly and with professional kindness shows you’re trustworthy and care about the experience of your consumers. A short, kind response can shine a light on your business and help build a brand persona that’s user-friendly and tolerant of all.

Responding to comments can also resolve issues your customers are facing. Many customers take to social media for help, and your PR team should be able to spin their negative experience into a positive one.

This is something that brands like Blueground do well. Blueground received a negative comment on Twitter when one of its users, Ryan, couldn’t access their Wi-Fi. Blueground expedited the process and let Ryan know his request was important to them. This resulted in a positive interaction online and showed Blueground is diligent about customer care.

Follow suit by identifying comments that can quickly be resolved and by landing a “quick win” online. Responding to reviews can have SEO benefits, too.

Analyzing Comments

Negative comments can be a source of positive marketing. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to read and respond to each comment. Reading each negative comment is an inefficient way to navigate social media and may throw off your workflow.

Use free social media management tools to increase efficiency and sidestep the less important comments. Simple tools like Google Sheets can help you organize your work and give you stock answers if you need to respond to simple queries. Additionally, there are several social media-focused dashboards that also provide the analytics behind each post and identify queries and questions with greater efficiency.

When analyzing comments, it’s ok to disregard comments that can’t be turned into a solution for your company and the customer. Amplifying trolls on Twitter doesn’t improve your brand reputation and just gives them a platform to spread negativity.

However, you cannot disregard meaningful comments as “trolls.” Be sure to listen to the legitimate feedback you receive to make changes to your business.

Listening and Making Changes

Social media can be a great sounding board for ideas and new releases. Use social media to poll your consumers and get feedback from the folks who follow you. However, in some cases, users take to social media en masse to demand change from your company. Customer relationships are key to a strong brand reputation and listening is a crucial part of that dynamic.

Listen to the comments that ask for change, and recognize the requests made by users. This is something that even major brands like Burger King have to do from time to time.

Burger King made 2021’s biggest PR blunder. While there was no way for Burger King to undo the damage their misogynistic and sexist Tweet caused, they were able to listen to users and make a change. They deleted the Tweet and apologized on Twitter. They’ve also reaffirmed their commitment to gender equality by attempting to close the Gender Pay Gap.

Professional Messaging

Your job can impact your mental health and undermine your ability to work effectively. When working through negative comments, take a break to protect your mental health and speak to your employer if you find that negative press is getting you down.

Keep responses professional when you reach out to commenters. Don’t argue with folks who leave comments — even if you feel they are in the wrong — and avoid the temptation to copy-paste responses. Copy-pasting responses feel inauthentic and can damage the trust folks place in your brand.

If you find your customers have a conflict of values with your brand, it may be worth leaving the comments unaddressed. Alternatively, you can score a marketing “win” by addressing comments that are bigoted or misaligned with social values. Take Helper as an example. Helper recently responded to a sexist Tweet from a user and it received over 79,000 retweets.

Just be sure to clear any “sassy” tweets and replies before you hit “send.”


Social media is awash with opinions and controversy and it can be hard to have conversations with people who disagree. You can navigate the tumultuous digital waters better by learning how to turn negative comments into positive marketing. Start by listening to your consumers, and make changes based on their feedback. Maintain a professional persona at all times, unless you have clearance to respond to a tweet that misaligns with wider social values.