Coping with Comments

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Coping with Comments

Nov 30, 2022

Our sixth minisode of the sixth season of “The Creative Influencer” podcast is available today for download on iTunes, Spotify, and premier platforms everywhere. In this minisode, Jon talks about how to cope with comments. This is the twin sister of our last minisode – minisode five – where we discussed what to do about negative product reviews.


A transcript of the episode follows:

This is the sixth minisode of the sixth season of the Creative Influencer podcast. Today we are going talk about how to cope with comments. This is the twin sister of our last minisode – minisode five – where we discussed what to do about negative product reviews.

The problem with negative comments as an influencer, is that you know you cannot cut off comments entirely. We talked about this last minisode: when doing brand deals, you need to be able to show engagement across all of your posts (not just the sponsored ones). So cutting off comments is a non-starter if you are an influencer who works with brands.

Remember before we go any further, I’m talking about comments that are not inaccurate about a product or service or you as a person nor are they abusive. We talk about legal considerations, such as suing for defamation if the problem is really bad and causes you damages in the form of lost income from brand deals in minisode five, so go back for more on that.

We are talking about the comments that say stuff like “This brand sucks, I like competitor better”—rude perhaps, but not necessarily against the Terms of Service on the platform you are on. In those cases, report the comment and delete it.

So how do you cope? What strategy can you use other than just grin and bear it? Do you respond?

The answer to that last question is yes: you should respond if it is appropriate. What do I mean appropriate?

First, check with the brand to see what they want you to do. If the comment is something like “I got one of these, but it broke after 3 uses,” step in as brand ambassador and be friendly about it with a response like: “oh no! That’s certainly not normal. Reach out to their support team at: (Brand customer service site or email).”

For influencers, it may be a good idea to make this part of your influencer contract if you are responding to comments like the example I just gave.  The interaction and the brand’s preferred language for responding to negative comments may be specified in the contract, and you also want to limit the number of comments that you will reply to in that contract.

And when the negative comment calls for it, you can use humor to diffuse the situation. But let me be clear: DO NOT mock or otherwise belittle the commenter. Generally, this tactic is reserved for only when the comment is on a personal post, since you can use appropriate self-denigrating humor to throw shade back in a polite and humorous way that your followers will enjoy.

And remember this above all else: don’t take any mean or negative comments too personally. In the sage words of my wife: “be a duck”… which means just let it roll off your back like water falls off the back of a duck.

The Creative Influencer is a weekly podcast where we discuss all things creative with an emphasis on Influencers. It is hosted by Jon Pfeiffer, an entertainment attorney in Santa Monica, California. Jon interviews influencers, creatives and the professionals who work with them.

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