• Vicky Ooi

Cheers to the Haters

With the rise of social media, anonymity and lack of regulation, the internet has turned into a fertile ground for nasty and rude messages. When you run a social media page, you should be prepared to deal with negative reactions. When dealt with the right way, social media negativity can be one of your most valuable opportunities.

Should you reply to these comments?

The simple answer is, yes. A lack of responsiveness to hate comments can affect your name and leave a bad impression to others. If it’s noticeable that you only react to positive reviews; ignoring or removing negative ones, you may end up in trouble.

At times, hate comments can be a sign that there may be a potential problem, so take it as feedback. You should try looking into why people are leaving them. And, if there is a repetition in similar hate comments, there may actually be an underlying problem that you may not have realized just yet.

Internet conflicts don’t bring you any good. Wrong responses to hate comments on social media can almost instantly destroy your reputation online and may even cause a social media crisis that will leave a stain on your brand reputation. Instead, try to deescalate the situation in the best way possible.

Tips when Responding to Hate Comments

01. Kill them with kindness

Thank you for your insightful comment! I appreciate that you took the time needed to write this comment and will take into account what you have said”

You can respond to these hate comments with an appreciative comment, catching them off guard. No internet would expect you to respond to their random outrage in such ways.

02. Respond to them promptly

The internet never forgets and screenshots can be done instantly. The longer you wait to respond to a negative response, you may find yourself caught in deep water. Even if you are not prepared to deal with the problem just yet, a simple reply that you are looking into the matter can buy you some extra time to come up with a solution.

03. Never delete hate comments

Negative social media responses aren't something you can erase. Deleting a hate comment is unlikely to make the person go away or solve the problem. On the other hand, it may just make them want to post more.

Although some may say that it is better to request the posts to be removed by the original author if problems have been resolved, we think that it should be better to leave it on profile. Leaving a resolved problem on your social media profile does not have any real harm. In fact, it can show your willingness to address the problem and attempt to resolve it.

Starbucks “LATTE” 101

LATTE is an acronym for Starbucks’s customer service sequence that was created as a guide to help employees walk through the steps when dealing with customer issues. The LATTE system can easily be applied when responding to hate comments on social media.

L | Listen to the customer: It is very important that you acknowledge the comments, good or bad. Make sure that they know you’ve seen their comments by responding with a message.

A | Acknowledge the problem: If it really was a problem on your side, admit to it. Everybody makes mistakes, but not admitting to your mistakes is a big NO.

T | Take action and solve the problem: Apologies are the first step to this, but real action should be taken to resolve the problem. Keep them informed and updated with what you are doing to resolve the problem. Constant communication is key.

T | Thank the customer: You should always remember to thank the commentator for taking the time to write a response, no matter good or bad. The fact that they took the time to write a comment shows that you are worth their time. You can even show others how you deal with negative comments and leave a good impression to others who read these comments.

E | Explain what you did: This is also tied to the first “T” mentioned above. Always keep everybody in the loop informed and updated. And with the problem resolved, try to build up a positive relationship with them if you have successfully turned them into a supporting audience.

The most important takeaway is that you can never change how every person thinks or what they say, but you have the power to decide how you will respond to them. Just like what Taylor Swift sings: “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate,” no matter what you do. So, don’t waste your time trying to delete hate. Instead, learn what and how to respond to haters and turn them into positive brand endorsement.