Recently, I received my first online social media complaint on a product I was marketing to a Whatsapp group, where the user was telling others to avoid me. It turned out to be a misunderstanding, in which I had made an error in an advert, that implied some serious shadiness, which (hopefully) she understood that it was an honest mistake on my part after explaining myself. I went ahead and apologized for the error within the group.

Such incidences are commonplace when it comes to posting and advertising your brand products and services online.

A lot of people nowadays quickly turn to social media to complain about products and services faster than you can say, Jack Robinson.


How to use Social Media vulnerability to your advantage


They say “all publicity is good publicity.” Defending your brand could actually end up being a good thing. Take this time to engage politely and professionally with your audiences by showing empathy, correcting any misconceptions, and apologize for any inconsistencies.

Do not lose your temper or engage in a rude manner.

Be firm but maintain politeness. With the help of a public relations expert, you could engineer the best comeback and turn a bad situation into brand awareness. Try also to give it a bit of time to grow to its fullness before addressing the issue to avoid unpleasant exchanges.

Educate your social audiences on the relevance of your products and services to them, showing them that you care for them and you are willing to do your best to meet their need in your area of expertise/service/product.

Humanize your company by posting any interesting content and photos of your employees, serving clients, team building activities, CSR, award ceremonies and any other events.


As a website user (complainer), my hope is that before you castigate someone’s integrity in public, it would only be decent to address the issue using a side chat, then only go public if you feel your issue has not been handled.

Some companies choose to shut down their social media accounts when the complaints and trolls become too many.

In my opinion, however, you should take time to address each case individually, trying to solve each customer’s complaints and address their issues, then replying to their grievances within the same social media platform (rather than inboxing). That way, you will not lose other potential customers reading those comments.

In any case, whether you are there or not, they will still bad mouth your brand in public.


What are your experiences in handling customer complaints and trolls online?