Aug 12, 2015 / by Susan Guillory

If you’re paying attention to what’s being said about your brand on Twitter, you’re staying on top of both the glowing reviews and the snarky complaints. But what can you do to turn the negative comments into something positive?

Let’s look at a few scenarios and how to handle them.

Someone Blasts Your Company for No Good Reason

Maybe what they tweeted doesn’t even make sense for your company (you don’t sell pizza at your Italian restaurant and they referenced a bad pie). But the damage is there, whether the complaint is valid or not.

Go to the Tweeter’s profile and see if they look legit. If there’s just a steady stream of trollish complaints about dozens of businesses, you know it’s not the real deal. On the other hand, if they seem to be authentic, they may have your business confused with another.

If you think it’s the latter, respond to the tweet and let them know they might have the wrong Twitter handle. If it’s a troll, the best thing you can do is ignore it and report the user as being abusive on Twitter.

This Tweeter Is Scaring Off Other Customers


He had a bad experience in your store, and now he’s telling anyone who will listen not to shop with you. Nip it in the bud! This guy is bad for business.

Start by apologizing publicly for his experience and asking him to follow you so you can get his contact information via direct message. The public message is more for everyone else to see that you’re making an effort to remedy this situation.

Once you get his info, find out exactly what happened and which of your staff interacted with him. If he’ll accept it, offer to exchange the faulty product or give him store credit to try you again. Even if he never does take you up on this, his feathers may be soothed enough.

Once he’s calmed down, ask if he would mind sharing the entire experience (focusing on the solution you provided) on Twitter. If he’s also Yelped nastily, ask if he’ll remedy his review.

This Gal Just Wants Attention

Angry-Gal-Negative-Tweets (2)

Maybe she comes to your restaurant and orders the Spicy Chili every week, only to send it back because it’s too spicy. Now she’s demanding attention on Twitter, too, at the cost of your company.

Pull back on your urge to spit poison her way. It will only backfire. Give her what she wants, while killing her with kindness, and she’ll likely leave you alone. Ask how you can help, how you can make her happy. She might be too dumbfounded to have a response.

Final Thoughts

No matter what the negative tweet is, your best plan of action is a prompt response. As soon as you see it, get a strategy for how you’ll respond. If you’re worried that emotion is getting in the way, pause before hitting “publish” and read your response to make sure you’re being accommodating and not defensive.

Remember: people are paying attention, both to the naysayer and to your response. Plan accordingly to put your brand in a better light.


Photo: Bryan Rosengrant, Esther Vargas, Rikard Elofsson (Creative Commons)


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About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.