4 Best Ways Brands Can Respond to Haters on Instagram

We've all heard the term "Haters."

Social media expert Gary Vee says that we all need haters, and like it or not, how you respond or handle comments from haters can change the way people see your brand online.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your brand is, haters have been statistically proven to hurt your chances of acquiring new customers.

  • 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews.

  • 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

  • 44% more people think that a brand's conversations (including direct messaging or in response to a comment posted) are more persuasive than what a brand's advertising ads.

So what do you do when a “hater” starts creeping and commenting on your Instagram?

We found the four best ways brands like you can respond to haters on Instagram.


1. Always Respond to Comments

A common misconception brands have when it comes to comments is that if you ignore it, it'll go away.

Spoiler alert!

The comment will still be there, and with the internet, unless it's deleted, it'll always be there.

This is where social listening becomes a skill. Social media listening is the act of monitoring and leveraging social conversations surrounding topics, events, keywords, hashtags, or news about you or topics within your industry.

With social listening, you can find comments made about your brand on Instagram or your brand's account.

One way to practise social listening on Instagram is to turn on your comment, and tag notification settings.

This will help you to keep track of any comments made about your brand or any images you're tagged in using your brand's handle.

Wendy's

Wendy's is a brand that's known to take on their haters and engage with all their fans. Responding to comments has become one of the critical engagement strategies that help to grow their social media presence, build their culture, community, and even sales.

With 83% of people expecting companies to respond to social media comments within a day or less, the worse thing you can do when someone comments or complaints about you (or your products) on Instagram is to take a long time to respond.

If you look at all of Wendy’s posts, they respond to comments within minutes, if not seconds, It's no wonder they have great engagement.

Sugar Bear Hair

Even if the person's comment wasn't a negative statement, when you see a question or cry for help, don't scroll past, you never know when you can use this opportunity to create a lifelong customer.

Be sure to add “answering comments” to one of your five social media opportunities that you can't afford to miss.

2. Resolve Before You Delete!

A lot of people will tell you to delete negative comments on your Instagram posts. I say wait...delete bad comments after you resolve them!

Dealing with upset customers is never easy, and it only gets more complicated when you're communicating from behind a keyboard.

Most people just want an apology to make them feel heard. When you delete a comment before resolving the issue, the commenter will only take more offense to the situation and either:

  • Continue speaking negatively about your brand on social media.
  • Stop buying and can prevent others from buying from you.
  • Continue commenting negatively on your posts until you give them the time of day.
  • Or all of the above.

Marketing Charts found that 7 in10 survey respondents indicated that a brand's response to online consumer reviews actively changed their perception of a brand.

When brands respond to negative comments, it makes the commenter feel like the brand genuinely cares about them, it has excellent customer service, and that it is trustworthy.

With all that being said, it’s obvious that the benefits of replying to negative comments far out weights easily deleting them in the long run. So before you consider deleting that post, click reply instead and show off your fantastic customer service skills.

The last thing you want is to get frequently bombarded with negative comments on your Instagram page.

MailChimp

Here are key things you should do before you even consider deleting a customers comment:

  1. Reply to the comment, if you must, apologize, if it's not your fault use soft skills to explain the situation and resolve the matter.

  2. Once you've commented, direct message the person the same resolution you used in your reply or a more detailed version of that response.

  3. After some time has passed, allowing the commenter to see your reply, you can decide to leave or delete the comments since you've communicated through all possible channels on your part.

Worst case scenario, if the person continues to be an issue after you've attempted to resolve the matter, block them. Harsh, but sometimes necessary.

It seems like a lot of work but practicing this will help to improve your brand's online presence. If there's one thing people always remember and value, it's excellent customer service.

3. Never Apologize Empty-Handed

Next to ignoring negative comments, you should never approach a negative or angry customer empty-handed.

Come bearing gifts...or discounts.

The best way to handle a negative social media comment is first to offer an apology and then provide the customer with a solution.

Please avoid the phrase I’m sorry you feel that way because it makes customers feel like their concerns are invalid, and it makes you look like a jerk.

Keep calm, If you have an attitude while typing a response, people can tell from the tone, take a deep breath, find your happy place, then reply.

Let's be honest, some people only complain when they "feel" wronged, but it doesn't always make them right; however. If you are in the wrong, then own up to it.

After you've apologized, provide them with them a link to an official website where they can submit feedback, or even a phone number so they can speak to someone directly to get an update to improve the situation.

Take a look at Domino's Instagram post, for every complaint that they get they direct them to their customer service site, and provide a reference number so they can follow up, giving their followers real-time solution.

Domino's Pizza

Even if you can't solve the problem, don't sweat it, use a coupon, free shipping, or gift card to try to smoothen things over.

4. Give Props to Your Fans

When you begin answering questions and comments, you create a community where people can openly engagement, ask questions, and sometimes even defend your brand.

Take Tropicana, for example, they’ve had their fair share of haters, but they also have their fair share of fans on Instagram.

Tropicana

The Best Social Media Clapbacks from Brands

From time to time, you might get some snarky remarks that challenge your brand. If you're up for the challenge, your response could start trending or at least help your company gain insane amounts of respect.

I added this section to have a little fun.

Here are some brands that showed off their brand's personality when they were outrightly challenged on social media.

1. Wendy’s

2. Patagonia

3. MoonPies

4. Netflix

Summary

There you have it, four best ways brands can respond to haters on Instagram:

  1. Always Respond to Comments
  2. Resolve Before You Delete!
  3. Never Apologize Empty-Handed
  4. Give Props to Your Fans

Between running your business and managing your social media, it can be hard to answer every single comment, my advice explores the ones that matter the most.

Schedule time to answer comments and check your Instagram profile; this can be an hour a day, the first thing in the morning or at the end of the day.

Written by Victoria Taylor

Victoria is a Marketing Generalist at Wishpond specializing in all things digital marketing and social media marketing. In love with blogging and Taco Tuesdays. Follow her on Twitter @vicknwsbest.