Once you have a social media presence, there will inevitably be negative comments directed your way.

If someone has a bad experience with your company, social media is where they will go to air their grievances, no matter how justified or unjustified the underlying complaint is.

A resounding majority of all companies now have a social media page, which means there can be a lot of negative buzz out there in the social world. Of those that have a Twitter or Facebook account, only about a quarter have an established playbook and corresponding method for dealing with negative content posted to their feed.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that marketers are not responding to negative posts when they turn up, it just means that there is no consistent approach to handling adverse feedback. All told, about 20% of marketers say they ignore negative posts, while the other 80% tend to respond within 24 hours.

So is it shrewd to respond without a plan in place? If someone arrives on your social media page and starts raving about something, do you know how you are going to respond? Do you know what kind of offers or concessions you are prepared to publicly make in order to regain their trust and others viewing the exchange? Because negative feedback can be detrimental if left untouched, a plan is the only way to ensure that every naysayer is responded to clearly and in a consistent manner that resolves the issue at hand and communicates your attentiveness to customers.