“I’m tired of stupid comments”: How NOT To Respond to Social Media Followers Who Wear You Out

by | Jul 27, 2021 | Writing Matters Blog | 0 comments

If you’ve ever had to endure customers’ negative comments about your company or products on social media, you may be giving Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland, a round of applause for his response to Heather, a follower of his official Facebook page. She wrote, “We’re getting Hogan fatigue. Please make it stop.” And he replied, “I’m getting fatigued with your stupid comments every day. If you are tired of seeing what I say on my Facebook page why not just get the hell off my page and you won’t be so bothered by listening.”

Or maybe you’re not giving him a round of applause. I’m definitely not clapping for Hogan’s clapback. Here’s why:

  • Heather’s comment was about how often Hogan was communicating, not about what he was saying. Hogan should have a thick enough skin to let that slip.
  • Name calling makes the name caller look foolish. “Stupid”? Really, Governor Hogan? Are you in elementary school?
  • “Get the hell off my page.” Some people might think this hairy-chest bluster is Gov Hogan “being real,” but I think it’s combative and ill-tempered. And why would any elected official tell a voter to get off “his” Facebook page?

Eight Tips for Responding to Your Haters on Social Media

Heather’s no hater; her comment is too mild. But your company probably has its haters on social media, maybe even its share of trolls. Here are eight dignified ways you can respond to these deliberately negative, provocative people. These writing strategies may not shut the troll down, but they will demonstrate to other followers that you can provide a calm, polite response even if the customer is neither calm nor polite.

 

Example: Here’s an incoming tweet from “hater” @AnimalRights_Jessica
Hey, @ABC-Pharma, shame on you for testing your addictive, unnecessary products on animals. How many innocent rabbits need to poison shot into their veins before you develop a conscience and stop this torture? #ImmoralCriminals
1. Offer facts.
Hello Jessica, since 1997, we haven’t tested any of our pharmaceutical products or ingredients on animals. Learn more at our “Product Safety Without Animal Testing” page at bit.ly/ABC-Pharma-testing. 
2. Try to lighten the mood.
Hello Jessica, we’d never hurt an innocent creature! Since 1997, we haven’t tested any of our pharmaceutical products or ingredients on animals. Learn more at our “Product Safety Without Animal Testing” page at bit.ly/ABC-Pharma-testing. 
3. Offer to help.
Hello Jessica, we don’t test any of our pharmaceutical products or ingredients on animals. Learn more at our “Product Safety Without Animal Testing” page at bit.ly/ABC-Pharma-testing. We’d be glad to explain our testing practices, so if you’ll DM us your contact number, we’ll give you a call.
4. Link to detailed information at your website.
Hello Jessica, since 1997, we haven’t tested any of our pharmaceutical products or ingredients on animals. Learn more at our “Product Safety Without Animal Testing” page: bit.ly/ABC-Pharma-testing and our “Animal Testing Policy” page: bit.ly/ABC-Pharma-testing-Policy.
5. Ask a clarifying question.
Hello Jessica, we don’t test any of our pharmaceutical products or ingredients on animals. Learn more at our “Product Safety Without Animal Testing” page at bit.ly/ABC-Pharma-testing. Could you let us know why you are concerned about our practices? Perhaps you’ve read some misinformation online.
6. Link to your social media customer use policy.
Hello Jessica, we’ve responded several times to your claim that we test our pharmaceutical products or ingredients on animals, which we do not do. Your tweets contain violent and offensive language. You are violating our Comments Policy: bit.ly/ABC-Pharma-Comments. If you continue, we will block you.
7. Suggest the person contact your company in a private channel.
Hello Jessica, we don’t test our pharmaceutical products or ingredients on animals. Learn more at our “Product Safety Without Animal Testing” page at bit.ly/ABC-Pharma-testing. Please DM us if you’d like to discuss our testing practices or have other questions about our products. We’re glad to help.
8. Try empathy.
Hello Jessica, the harmful practices you’ve mentioned would concern us, too. We can assure you: we do not test any of our pharmaceutical products or ingredients on animals. Learn more at our “Product Safety Without Animal Testing” page at bit.ly/ABC-Pharma-testing. 

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