The Art of Managing Less-Than-Positive (LTP) Comments on Social Media

Social Media Negative Comments

Mastering the Art of Crafting Powerful Responses by

Pondering & Asking the Right Questions

(A checklist of 36 questions for all Socially-Engaged Brands)

BEFORE replying LTP

  1. Understanding why the Fan is posting negative (less than positive) comments?
    1. Self-Check
      • What does the fan really need?
      • What is he not telling us?
      • What are his constraints?
      • How can we better understand the fan?
      • How does the fan view us?
      • How can we convince the fans to trust brand more?

DURING the course of Responding to LTP

  1. Clarifying what the fan is really saying
    1. Self-Check:
      • What is his tone?
      • What are his choice of words? Emotional or intellectual?
      • Where is he coming from?
    2. Suggested Responses:
      • Are we right to say that you meant ….?
      • Correct us if we are wrong. You were saying…?
      • Can you rephrase what you have said in one sentence?
      • Can you elaborate on what you just said about “…….”?
      • Can you kindly explain your point in a way that a 6-year old is able to understand?
  1. Handling Rare Concerns from the Fans
    1. Self-Check
      • There must have a reason for him to say that (comment). Find out what it is that he is seeing in the future?
      • What can be done within our means to address his concerns before engaging him in conversation?
      • Suggested Responses:
        • What other information do you need from us right now?
        • What can we do to help you in this situation?
        • What is one thing that would help to change your mind about ……?


  1. Handling Objections to an Announcement or a Possible Change in future
  1. Self-Check:
    • What would make the fan say “Yes”?
    • What is the fan’s real concern?
    • How can we better undertand his concerns?
  1. Suggested Responses:
    • What if there a way we can overcome your concerns?
    • What if what we suggested out to be true?
  1. Dealing with Ambiquity of a unque Situation
    1. Self-Check
      • What are we (brand and fans) confused about?
      • How can we make this a “yes and….” Situation?
    2. Suggested Responses:
      • Who else/What else can enlighten us?
      • How can we make better sense of this?
      • How can we make this a positive outcome?

AFTER successfully managed the LTP comments

  1. Reframing our minds after the saga (add to knowledge base)
    1. Self-Check
      • What can we learn from this episode?
      • What could the fan be thinking?
      • What are we not seeing?
      • How can this be a good thing for us?
      • How can we see it from his point of view?
      • How can we better do this in future?
      • How much information does he need from me?
8 Golden Social Media Difficult Conversation Rules
1.     There is no real Negative Comments; only Less-Than-Positive comments for the Brands to learn more than the Fans

2.     2 adminstrators are better than 1. Both need to be equally authentic.

3.     A delayed response is better than Destructive response. Go through a thought process before crafting your reply.

4.     Social Media Fire must be put out by Social Media Water

5.     No lengthy discussion on social media is ever fruitful.

6.     After clarification, bring the discussion offline through phone, email or a meeting

7.     Go out of the way to ensure the unhappy fan is satisifed. He has the greatest potential to be your future advocate.

8.     After the concerns are addressed, encourage the fan to put up one final post for closure




Acknowledgement: The wonderful insightful questions are inspired and adapted by “What’s Your Questions?” by Ng Choon Seng


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