Why Hiding Facebook Posts Can Ruin Your Company’s Reputation

posted this in
Social Media
on February 13th, 2014

A negative customer comment about your company on Facebook may seem like the end of the world.

You can’t believe what they’ve said about your company and your first instinct may be to hide the comment so it never sees the light of day again. It makes sense – you don’t want the opinions of others to sway your potential customers, right?

But is hiding Facebook posts really the best option? You may be surprised by what can happen when you hide posts.

The consequences of hiding comments

For most businesses, Facebook has become a customer service tool. Customers use Facebook as a way to express their frustrations with a company. (And let’s face it, every business has a dissatisfied customer at some point.)

But when you are constantly hiding comments by customers, you’re really hiding from the problem.

Hiding a customer’s complaint on Facebook is like hanging up on them after they’ve called your company to talk about their experience.

It shows the customer you don’t care about their experience or feelings and would rather just sweep it under the rug. And that usually backfires. Here are two scenarios I’ve seen happen when a company hid a negative Facebook post.

Customer #1: the re-poster

One customer had a bad experience with a company and turned to Facebook to comment about their appointment.

The company immediately removed the comment and intended to call the customer directly to resolve the issue. However, the customer saw that their comment was hidden and was highly offended. So they kept commenting all over Facebook… over and over and over.

The customer understandably felt she was being ignored and she thought the company was too proud to deal with the issue. She didn’t understand the company was going to take care of it, but would prefer to do so offline.

The customer eventually commented again that the issue was resolved, but her opinion of the brand and how they handled her comments remained the same.

Customer #2: the viral sharer

Another time, a dissatisfied customer left a comment on Facebook and the company removed it immediately. But this customer did something different. Rather than commenting over and over again on Facebook like the first customer, he found every review site he could for the company and left reviews on every single one.

Unfortunately, not all review sites let you have a conversation with the customer like you can on Facebook so this review still lives on multiple websites for potential customers to see with no way for the company to reply or respond.

Both of these examples show how a single negative comment can quickly spiral out of control if not handled correctly.

What to do instead

Whenever you receive a negative comment from a customer on Facebook, we recommend responding to the customer immediately and keeping the post publicly displayed.

If you’re concerned about the conversation taking place publicly, then send them a response that you’re looking into the issue and will call them soon. If you need more information, ask them to send you a message with their contact information.

Either way, make sure they know as soon as possible that you are working on a solution to the problem.

Potential customers will also see that you have no problem dealing with issues and have nothing to hide. If you stand behind your company and customer service, what do you have to hide anyway?

When you should hide posts

There are definitely situations where posts should be removed, especially if the posts are breaking Facebook’s community standards and include inappropriate language and false accusations.

Set specific guidelines for what will and will not be tolerated on your page. We have a set of “house rules” on our Facebook page that let people know when their posts may be removed from our page.

By having a set of guidelines visible to your fans, you can reference your posting guidelines if you ever do need to remove a post.

Your thoughts?

I’d love to hear about the experiences you’ve had with customers on Facebook. Do you agree it’s best not to hide posts? Do you think hiding is actually effective? Send us a comment on Facebook!