Disabling Comments on Facebook: Don’t Do It

One of the reasons clients choose 834 is because we know our shit. We help mentor and guide our clients in all aspects of marketing in order to give them the best possible outcome. Recently, a client came to us to get our opinion on disabling Facebook comments. They were discouraged by the negative comments on their page, which is understood. Not everyone is going to be a happy camper and it can be tough reading negative comments about your brand. So we worked with them to give them reasons why disabling comments will ultimately hurt the brand.
We’ve managed dozens of social media accounts, ranging from local businesses to national and international brands. Simply put, we’ve seen it all. We keep up on industry trends and best practices so we can come back to clients with expert guidance. Below is some of the guidance we gave our client.
1. Brands should be focusing on improving customer experience instead of taking it away
Customer service and experience is just as important to customers as the product itself. If people have a poor experience with a brand, then it’s goodbye to them and whomever they decide to tell. It’s easy to push a button and disable comments in order to control the narrative, but the customers will go somewhere else, whether it’s Twitter, Amazon, Instagram or to their friends and family. By not allowing them to interact, they will take it personally, which can be hurtful for the brand. It’s better for the company to research and find options to improve the customer experience than to control the negativity.
2. Engagement
Facebook is the platform where brands get to engage with their audience the most. Comments and messages make it easy to communicate. People aren’t limited to character count (Twitter) or being buried under a photo (Instagram). Customers go to brands’ Facebook pages because they really appreciate it when they are able to engage with the brand. If the comments are disabled on Facebook, they lose that personal experience, which is why people sign up for Facebook in the first place. By disabling the comments, the customers would have the same kind of experience as if they went on the website.
3. Transparency
People want to trust and access brands – they want transparency with their communications. If comments are disabled, that transparency is gone. People are smart enough to sense if something is fishy. When they see that they aren’t able to comment, they start asking questions and that sense of brand trust and accessibility is gone. If customers can’t trust a brand, they will no longer look to it for its products or expertise.
4. It’s probably not as bad as you think
It’s really easy to take some of the negative things personally and get frustrated. Especially when a business owner built their brand from the ground up. It’s easy for business owners to get protective about their brand, and it can be tough to step back and look at the big picture. The reality is that the number of people who support the brand far outweigh the complainers. If they do have concerns or are upset, the brand interaction is what helps talk them off the ledge. They feel like the brand cares about their individual concern and is given a personal experience. The brand goes from being a large, untouchable entity to something more accessible. A large percentage of interactions with negative inquiries are made positive just by interacting with people and acknowledging that they exist and their concerns are heard.
In the end, we came to an agreement with the client that we should work on making the customer experience better, which benefits everyone. Negative comments are tough, but they will always be there no matter what kind of brand you are. The best thing to do is tackle one comment at a time, give that person your individual attention, try to make the experience as positive as possible for them and don’t take things personally. It’s hard, but worth it for your brand and your customers.

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