Help Me, Wanda! #3: How Do I Respond to the Haters?

Help Me, Wanda! #3: How Do I Respond to the Haters?

Dear Wanda,

The social media monitoring strategy at my company states that my team must respond to every single negative comment or review left on our social channels, especially our Glassdoor profile.

I’m concerned about this approach for many reasons. We’ve all seen the dark side of what happens when companies engage too much online. I don’t want our company to seem like we’re “hovering” on a social platform meant to be the voice of our employees, not our brand.

What is the best way to satisfy negative comments and reviews without going overboard?


Proceeding With Caution

Dear Caution,

The two major things to know when handling negative online comments are:

1. When to pick your battles.

2. When to move the conversation offline.

Yes, it seems natural to defend your company’s reputation from every little negative comment you receive, but you don’t want your company to come off as robotic, or, on the other hand, caring too much about what people think about you.

You need to choose what’s most important. Don’t respond to every single negative thing that’s said on your page. You’ll look obsessive, like you have nothing better to do than micro-manage your social sites and company reputation. If a response is obviously a troll, posting a comment like, “wow, ur company rly sux i hate you,” don’t waste your time responding. If you want to and can delete the comment, go ahead. It will clean up your channels without the unnecessary engagement with someone who is clearly bored.

But, if a user does have a legitimate or serious negative remark about your company’s management, their salary, work/life balance, etc., they will take the time to write a note with sincere concerns. This person took the time to reach out to you and make their worries known, so reach back and let them know you’d like to move the conversation offline. This also reduces the “clutter” and chatter on your public profiles.

One of the best ways to be proactive about response management is to create a protocol. Start by auditing your social channels and creating a document of your most talked-about negative comments.

From there, create a list of pre-written responses that address each of those overarching categories. You can always customize responses to a negative comment if your pre-written response doesn’t fully address their concern. To take the conversation offline, ask the user to email you (or a designated HR corporate email address) with more details about their concerns.

With this strategy and approach, you and your team will be able to address only the most important criticisms, while minimizing the amount of social response activity on your accounts. This way, you’ll be able to focus less on the negatives, and more on the positives.

Happy hiring,


Have a hiring question you’d like Wanda to answer? Tweet using the hashtag #HelpMeHire and your question could end up in a future “Help Me, Wanda!” column.

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Written by Wanda

Wanda has spent the past 20 years in the recruitment marketing world, using her no-nonsense approach to hire the best talent for companies in need. She is a huge Montgomery Biscuits fan and craft beer aficionado. When not dispensing career advice, Wanda loves traveling the globe with her Chocolate Lab, Cooper. She currently resides in St. Louis but hopes to one day live on the moon and start her own improv training center.

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