If your business has a presence on social media (which it should, unless you’ve just arrived in a time machine from the 18th century) then you undoubtedly receive comments from followers and potential customers. Done right, your replies and the customer service you provide through them will go a long way toward cementing lifelong customers.
Recently, we looked into how to post the best content on social media. In this article, we look at the importance of replying to all social media comments with the top tips on how to do it well. We then provide actionable instructions on how to reply to comments on Facebook, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Let’s get started…
But first, if you’re having a social media disaster, here’s How to Respond to a Social Media Crisis. And if you want to set up guidelines for the rest of your company on how to reply to comments on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, see What Goes Into a Successful Company Social Media Policy.
Why is it so important to reply to comments on social media?
Replying to social media comments should be a key element of your social media strategy.
Interacting with your audience through social comments is an effective way to make a connection with your target market. By providing great customer service through social comments, you not only retain existing customers but also win new ones.
So, let’s have a look at some of the top tips for successfully replying to comments on social media.
Aim to create rapport
When replying to comments on social media, you should always sound personable and approachable. You want to use comments as an opportunity to build a rapport with your customers. By portraying your brand as friendly and helpful, people will immediately feel a connection to you and your products.
When replying to customers, always use their names, try to answer their questions precisely, and if you’re following pre-written guidelines, customize them for each individual situation. Adding emojis, GIFs, and other fun social media extras can also help build a relationship with each commenter.
Present a professional front
It is important that your social comments always maintain a professional front. This doesn’t mean that your comments need to lose their personal touch, but they should be consistent and maintain your brand’s voice across all social networks.
Create a social media comment strategy so that everyone in your company is clear on how to respond to customers. Make sure to outline what style and tone of customer service is expected. Draft official responses and templates for different situations or scenarios, so whatever the social comment, the reply will always reflect your business’s personality.
The key caveat here is to ensure a human touch and to follow common sense guidelines around pre-drafted responses. The last thing you want is for your social help desk to be perceived as robotic, as Bank of America found out.
Appear interested in your contacts’ thoughts and concerns by responding quickly to comments. Quick replies aren’t just appreciated, they’re now expected of SMMs, with 42% of consumers now expecting replies to their social comments within 60 minutes.
Rapid replies also help make your customers feel valued. Pre-written responses can be useful here, but always remember to personalize them so they don’t read like replies from a robot.
In some cases, you may not be sure how to answer more specific questions. This doesn’t mean you can’t still offer a timely response. Simply acknowledge the comment and let the person know you are working on it. The reply itself isn’t as important as making sure the customer knows they’ve been heard.
No problem is too small
No one likes to be ignored, and a lack of response tells customers they aren’t important.
This can cause frustration that, in turn, can bubble over into customer discontent and cause trouble down the line.
Unanswered comments will also give your business a reputation for bad customer service, and potentially lose you business. Research from Twitter found that 81% of consumers won’t recommend a company to a friend if they don’t get a reply from them on social media.
Whatever the comment, however small, always acknowledge it with a reply.
Be proactive and responsive to all comments, especially the bad ones. Negative comments are inevitable, but by quickly engaging with each comment you can stop most problems from escalating.
Again, it’s good to have a clear strategy on how to deal with negative comments. Depending on the situation, you may want to send a link so people can access further customer support, move to private messaging, or try to directly help with the issue with a quick and comprehensive reply.
Stand out from the competition
Brands should use social media as a two-way channel of communication. However, this often isn’t the case, as many organizations do not take the trouble to interact with their social followers. By being constantly present and engaged with your audience via social comments, you will quickly help your brand stand out from the crowd.
So now that we know just how important it is to reply to social media comments, let’s next look at how to reply on each of the major social networks.
How to reply to comments on Facebook
To reply to comments on your company’s Facebook page, you will need to be the page’s Admin, Editor, or Moderator. If you have been assigned one of these roles, you can respond to any comments on the page publicly, as well as by private message.
To get started, simply open the Facebook page and select Reply underneath the comment you would like to respond to.
Type your reply and then click Enter. Your reply will now be displayed in the comments section for all to see.
If you would rather respond via private message, underneath the comment select Message. Then enter your message and click Send. Although no one apart from the individual you have messaged will be able to read the comment, everyone reading the comments thread will be able to see you have responded privately to the message. This can be a useful tool for sorting out any negative feedback.
It is not usually advisable to delete negative comments—inviting the commenter to a private channel is preferable. But, if your page is being ‘trolled’ then you can simply click Delete under a comment to erase the message. Trolls can also be banned from your Facebook page if necessary.
And if you’re looking for tips on replying to Facebook ads, see Why You Need to Reply to Comments on Your Facebook Ads.
How to reply to comments on Instagram ads
If you want to reply to comments on Instagram ads, open your Facebook Ads Manager. Select Edit Campaign next to the ad campaign that you want to manage, and then click on the specific Ad you want to reply to comments on.
Next, select the Links drop-down menu and click on Manage Instagram Comments. You will now see your Instagram ad and comments displayed.
To add a comment, simply type into the Add Comment field and press Enter to publish it.
Instagram provides a number of advertising possibilities, from photo and carousel ads to video and story ads. To really engage with your target audience and make the most of comment opportunities, consider using a variety of ad options.
How to reply to comments on LinkedIn
Find the comment you want to respond to and click Reply, which will be located underneath the comment.
Type a message into the Add Reply field and then select Reply to publish your answer.
LinkedIn allows you to add photos to your replies. To do so, select the Photo icon in the Add Reply field. This may help personalize your comment or add that extra visual touch to the reply.
By clicking on Send a Message you can also send a private message to those who have made a comment.
How to reply to comments on Twitter
Replies will always be sent as notifications, so the person you are writing to will always be informed of your comment. However, your reply will only display on their timeline if they are following you, and vice versa.
You can also send a direct message to a commenter by selecting the Message icon underneath the tweet. Again, this can be useful for controlling chat that may damage the reputation of your company.
How to reply to all comments the simpler, faster way
As you already know or will soon discover, social comments come thick and fast.
The best way to stay on top of all of them is a social media management platform inbox. First, there is the convenience of having a single overview of your incoming comments across all social channels. Then, there are a host of functions now available to speed up and simplify the process of replying to comments. These include bulk actions and response templates.
As mentioned above, a badly parsed or thoughtless response can have disproportionate repercussions. This makes an approval flow and audit trail valuable to larger organizations.
Final thoughts on how to respond to social comments
As you can see, replying to comments on social media is simple once you have the basics down. Equally, the importance of responding to comments cannot be understated. So if you promote your business on social media, it’s time to take control of your social interactions.
For a case study on how a seven-person social media team handled over 10,000 comments and messages in just 3 days during The Governors Ball Music Festival, check out the download link below. It’s chock full of insights on the art of replying to comments on social media and definitely worth a read.