What to write to negative commenters on social media

There’s a huge difference between the p*ss-spitting, troll-driven comments that proliferate like horse flies when you dare to express an opinion on social media that offends poor little snowflakes who are passionate about something or other … and someone disagreeing – seriously and respectfully – with a point you have made.

Disagreement - is it good or bad?

Cordial written disagreement on a topic can start a wonderful discussion

Let’s leave the former for us to talk about another time, preferably when I have had a really bad day and need an alternative to pulling the wings off live, er, horse flies.

As for the latter, though, it’s not always bad news.

Cordial written disagreement on a reasonable topic can start a wonderful discussion

…and that can add quite a few brownie points to your SEO and social media profile.

Although your first reaction to someone saying they think your views on X are totally erroneous might be to tell them where to shove their opinion, whatever you do, don’t.

Instead ask questions; probe further to see where they are coming from. Ask other readers to share their own views on the topic; tag people you know who are likely to have opinions on the topic so they have a chance to comment and broaden the discussion.

Moderate the comments so that if someone does get a little heated they are told to cool down, but be conciliatory, not patronising.

If said person should start throwing their toys out of the pram ask them to desist and if that doesn’t work, block them – even temporarily until they settle. You don’t want to turn your excellent thread into a hissing match.

Use “open” written questions to encourage people to join in and share

writing style fo eBooksAsk your disagree-er questions like the following:

  • Thanks for your comment. What are the key reasons why you disagree with my point?
  • What experiences can you share that illustrate the point you’re making?
  • I understand your concern, but what is it exactly that makes you feel so strongly about XX?
  • I hear what you say, and would love to open this topic up to others connected with it. What is the general consensus about XX?
  • (Once people have piled in, address this to your original disagree-er) YY, how do you feel about the opinions others have expressed so far?
  • Given this discussion, where do you feel we should go next with XX?
  • What results do you think we will achieve by following that route with XX?

…and so-on.

What are the benefits of this to you in your social media writing?

There are a good few, but here are the main ones.

One, as I mentioned above, it will do your SEO no harm at all and – depending on the platform concerned – will also raise you some brownie points on there for setting up a worthwhile and interesting discussion rather than a rant, argument or troll-fest.

Two, the discussion may well provide you with an excellent basis for a blog post about your topic, particularly as you can use the differing viewpoints – many of which by now will be in your favour – to strengthen your points, and gather more credibility for your business.

Moral of the story: don’t be put off by people who disagree with you

Instead turn those conversations around to help promote your own expertise.

What do you think?

Please share!