My content has negative feedback – what should I do?

When you publish a website news feed or blog, it’s common to allow users to provide feedback by adding comments to an article. This allows your readers to further discuss an issue, often providing valuable additional insights.

No matter how good your content is, though, there will always be the chance of people leaving negative feedback. Some of these people may have legitimate criticisms, while a few will be internet trolls with a burning desire to destroy everything they encounter. Regardless of the source, you need a process for handling any negative feedback.

Start by developing a policy for comments. This shouldn’t be a 10-page legally binding document but rather a couple of paragraphs, which is small enough to display above the comment textbox. Just explain that constructive comments are welcome and indicate the sort of comments that aren’t acceptable.

Responding to negative feedback

People posting negative comments will have various motives, and it’s not always possible to respond to all of them. Remember, every time you interact with your followers, it will reflect on your brand image, so your comments should always be toned appropriately.

Some commenters will constructively add to the content by indicating points that an article may have omitted. You can often simply acknowledge these comments and thank the posters for their contribution. Others may indicate major problems, such as incorrect facts or readability issues in the content. You should always endeavour to address the issue in such cases.

Some people may have something they’re legitimately angry about, but they are too blustered to accurately get it across. Do your best to work with them calmly and get to the underlying issue. Finally, some commenters will be so disgruntled that they are often impossible to deal with. In these instances, you may find it’s better to disengage rather than continue to fuel a pointless discussion.

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