‘Twitter is a great tool for business owners, but fears about negative twitter comments can make owners fearful of using the platform.’ We asked Kristian Downer at DowSocial to share what are your options when dealing with negative twitter comments both on a personal and business level.
The ways negative twitter comments can affect you depends on whether the comments are about your business or are personal in nature.
Knowing how to deal with negative twitter comments, can be tricky. At best these comments are just annoying white noise, but at worst they can be rude, abusive or reputation destroying attacks that can affect your confidence or harm your businesses bottom line.
So what are your options when dealing with negative twitter comments both on a personal and business level?
Whether you should ignore Twitter comments depends on whether they are made about you personally or your business
Customer Service – Take The Conversation Offline
If it is about your business this will depend on whether the comments are about your product/service and are customer service related, or whether they are just unwarranted abuse.
With Twitter, open for the world to see, the last thing you want to do is get involved in a combative exchange on Twitter.
f the person complaining is a customer or someone you want to speak to then the best course of action is to take the conversation offline. Use a tweet or direct message to get the contact details of the other party and follow up either via email or phone.
Personal Attack – Ignore & Hope They Go Away
If the negative tweets are personal, then ignoring negative comments can deprive the sender of their impact and they could quickly get bored and move onto their next target.
This may not be the most proactive advice but it can be the most effective.
Should I Report Them To Twitter or Block Them?
Reporting someone to Twitter is an option, but the response time is slow and they may not take your side. Therefore, blocking someone so they cannot contact you or see your messages may be the best option.
Be warned though, this will likely invoke a reaction and will only slow down a determined “troll” for minutes as they create a new account.
This also signifies giving up on resolving the issue with the user, but it can be the most effective way or protecting you, your business and your staff from negative twitter comments.
Can I Call The Police?
The last resort when dealing with negative comments on Twitter is legal action.
UK law does apply to Twitter and social media users are subject to it, although the cloak of anonymity can make offenders harder to track down and punish.
If the comments you are receiving in your business are wholly untrue then the UKs libel laws (if they are in the UK) still apply. Due to the cost, the publicity and the hassle, this may not be viable for posts from an individual or a one-off post.
However, for repetitive false claims made by someone on behalf of a business or media outet, this may be a route to explore.
If the language in the tweets is threatening or offensive, then another potential way to make it stop is to report the abuse to the police. Police response times to cybercrimes are highly variable and their enforcement power may be limited (if overseas or the user is difficult to trace.
Legal action whether it be civil or criminal should only be taken as an absolute last resort where blocking or ignoring is not making the issue of negative twitter comments go away. Always seek professional advice before taking legal action.
About the author:
Kristian Downer is the owner of DowSocial. Based in Peterborough and working with companies across the United Kingdom, Kristian has been helping companies successfully navigate the world of social media and content marketing for more than two years.
If you are unsure what to do about negative Twitter comments or how to manage your account effectively email firstname.lastname@example.org