A General Guide for Responding to Comments on Social Media

January 6, 2021
Social media best practices illustration

Social media is one of the most valuable tools for speaking directly to – and with – your audience. It has opened a new door for communication, and it’s only getting more popular. Users have more access to brands than ever before, leaving many brands unsure of what to do when users comment on their posts or message them directly.

To help you respond to whatever comes your way, the team at Origo has created some simple tips. Although every situation calls for careful consideration of the most appropriate way to respond, these general guidelines will help inform how you can respond to social media users – no matter what mood they may be in.

Responding to positive or neutral comments


  • Respond promptly. A quick response shows that you’re engaged, and it also helps develop a relationship with customers.
  • Establish your brand voiceCreating a brand voice is essential. Make sure to use your brand voice and style in all responses. 
  • Thank customers. If a customer leaves a positive review or comment, it’s important to thank them for trying the product and taking the time to share their experience.
  • Use your business’ name and keywordsSocial media and SEO go hand-in-hand. Utilizing these can increase SEO and help responses appear in search results.
  • Have a call to action. Invite your customers to do something in the response, like asking them to check out another service or visiting your website.

Do Not

  • Use an automatic reply. Being specific in the answer shows that there’s a real person behind the response and helps generate more engagement.
  • Have lengthy responses. A good rule of thumb is to keep your reply to three sentences. Any more than that and the answer might get too dense and be glazed over. 

Responding to negative comments


  • Respond promptly. It is just as, if not more important, to respond to negative comments. If a commenter is unhappy, it’s imperative to proactively reach out and resolve the issue.
  • Be honest and stick to the facts. Being truthful and honest will help build trust and integrity in your brand.
  • Personalize the response. The comments will not be the same, so your responses shouldn’t be either. Tailor your message to that specific question or concern.
  • Keep responses simple, short, and sweet. In a public forum, it’s best not to go into too much detail or ask questions. This will prevent possibly saying something that would upset the customer further.
  • Take the conversation offline. Depending on the comment’s nature, it could be best to take the conversation into a private space by direct messaging the user and addressing their questions or concerns within the social media platform. If the situation escalates, request their phone number or email address to have a customer service representative contact them, or have a plan to notify legal representation for guidance/support.

Do Not

  • Ignore the comment. Ignoring the comment, even accidentally, can let bad feelings fester.
  • Delete the comment. It can look like you’re not being honest or trying to hide the truth. If the comment is downright inappropriate, deleting the comment and utilizing private messaging is advised.
  • Make false promises. Keep the messaging to the facts, and don’t promise something your brand can’t deliver.
  • Use obscenities or aggressive language. Always keep the tone positive, polite, and professional.

Effectively responding to social media comments takes time and effort, but social media is a great way for brands to build relationships with their customers and create brand loyalty – all it takes is a little practice.