How to handle complaints on social media
Sales & Marketing

How to handle complaints on social media

Shopify merchants: Boost conversions & grow your email list in 5 minutes with an AI-powered quiz. Grow your sales today 🚀

Try it free

Have you ever logged onto Twitter (now X) or another social network just to see someone publicly roasting your brand?

Or maybe you post to Instagram or Facebook and someone makes a complaint in the comments that detracts from whatever you were posting about?

Ouch! 😡

This is tough, especially when you're working so hard to generate positive vibes on social media and you only get a handful of comments.

But don't stress, because today we're diving into the right to deal with customer complaints on social media without burning your brand to a crisp.


Here's the main thing: Don't feed the trolls, but don't ghost the genuine complaints either. One quick response, that’s all you need—then take that convo off the public stage and into the DMs to handle it privately. Why? Because social media ain't Vegas—what happens there, sure as heck doesn't stay there. So just respond once and take it private.

Say what now?

Okay, here’s the deal. A study found that replying multiple times to a complaint on social media can actually backfire! It's like poking a beehive. It gets the complaint more visibility, and before you know it, your Twitter feed looks like a Yelp review gone wrong.

But why? 🤔

Our brains are wired to focus on negative stuff and weigh it more heavily. So, even if your response is as sweet as grandma’s apple pie, people still see the complaint first. The last thing you want is to give more stage time to a feud on social media.

How to navigate the landmines

  1. One & done: Respond once with an "I'm sorry" and an explanation. Use "I," not "We." Keeps it personal.
  2. Slide into the DMs: Tell 'em to hit you up in the DMs or at a dedicated email for complaints. Got trust issues with emails? Offer multiple contact points.
  3. Separate but equal: If you're getting more complaints than a referee at a home game on places like Twitter (X), consider a dedicated Twitter handle just for support, like @YourbrandSupport or something.

There you have it, the best data-backed strategy for handling customer complaints on social media!

That's all, folks! Remember, social media is a two-edged sword: it can slice open new opportunities or cut you real bad. Navigate wisely, and may the likes be ever in your favor!

Want to learn more? 🤓

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can dig into the nerdy details in the original marketing study here.

Quote of the week 💬

"Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships."

- David Alston

About the author
Gabriel Mays, the Co-Founder and CEO of POPSMASH
Gabriel A. Mays
Gabriel Mays' Website
Co-Founder & CEO at POPSMASH
Before POPSMASH, Gabe was a Director at GoDaddy and founded two startups. He was also a Marine Corps Captain, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives with his wife and two kids on Cape Cod, MA.

Launch an AI quiz on Shopify in 5 minutes.

Help customers buy to increase sales & grow email subscribers.

Try it free
One-click signup with Shopify