[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Bobby Owinski and originally appeared on his blog Music 3.0.]
In the highly social online world that we live in, one thing’s for sure – at some point we’re going to receive negative comments on something. It’s bad enough when it’s about something we’ve posted but especially hurtful when it’s about our music. How you address those comments is extremely important if you don’t want to descend into a never-ending flame war.
Here’s what to do.
1. Determine The Intent Of The Comment
It’s important to determine whether the comment came from a real person or a troll.
A real fan may actually have some constructive criticism, or even a legitimate gripe about a product that you sell. On the other hand, a troll is someone who’s trying to shift the conversation to their agenda, whether that’s to provoke or inflame.
2. Try To Take The Conversation Offline
If it’s a fan with a legit criticism or complaint, try to take the remainder of the conversation out of the public eye either by DM, chat or email.
This could end up being a positive fan engagement experience for everyone involved if handled well.
3. Don’t Feed The Troll
This is a difficult one especially if you take the comments personally, but you have to resist the urge to engage the comment. A troll is there to disrupt and distract, and they live for engagement. That’s why the best course of action is none at all.
If you must, just make one and only one response and let it drop after that. If the comments from the troll keep spiraling, then block them or unfriend them.
4. Combat Negative With Positive
You can easily absorb a negative comment or two with a positive response from your online community. Even on Amazon, the best products have a few negative comments, but you tend to overlook them when the positive ones outnumber them by 10 to 1.
Often times these positive comments will come naturally as your fans come to your defense.
5. Don’t Take It Personally
Everyone gets negative comments and the best way to deal with them is to not take them personally. I know, easier said than done, but if you want to stay sane and keep your work headed in a positive direction, the only way is to not let a negative comment get to you.
Take it with a grain of salt, learn something, then move on to better things.