We have found that many funeral directors and staff get nervous when they think of responding to disgruntled comments on Facebook. We are here to tell you that 1. The value of having a Facebook page by far outweighs the few challenging comments and 2. Comments that are responded to properly can show your funeral home’s true character and dedicated service.

Here are our top Commenting Best Practices…

Like and Respond
When someone takes the time to comment on one of your Facebook posts, it’s best to address it. After all, someone who has commented has taken the time to pause from scrolling through dozens and dozens of Facebook posts because yours struck them as comment-worthy. Remember, this is what you want for your Facebook page…engagement!

If the comment is positive, your first step is to “like” the comment, and if their comment asks a question or is engaging in some way, go ahead and reply.

When commenting back, don’t be afraid to share a little insight. Of course give the commenter a nice response, but also keep in mind the public nature that is Facebook. If one has a question, or wants to learn more, so may others.

In order for the commenter to see your reply, make sure you actually “reply” to the comment, not just write another comment below theirs. Check out this great example here to the right.

Use Names
You have their name of course, so use it to address them. Each funeral home has it’s own unique voice. If you are a very friendly and perhaps a smaller firm, addressing them by their first name may be a great choice. Show that you’re sincere in your reply.

Add a Call-To-Action
For comments that require longer, more complex communication, we feel it’s best to take that dialog off of Facebook, so not to have a such a public conversation back and forth. Your response to a comment should have a call-to-action for the commenter when appropriate. Anything from telling them to send you a private message, visit a certain page on your website, shoot you an email or call you at a direct line. Having this call-to-action also is great in case another viewer of this same post runs into the same question, they are addressed with what to do next, easy to see.

Don’t make them wait!
It’s best to practice timely responding to comments. Think of Facebook as any other form of communication. Would it be rude to let an email sit for a week? Yes…so don’t delay!

Facebook does make visible on your Facebook page how quickly you can respond, not to a comment, but a private message. If you have great timing, Facebook thanks you by showing off your great communication skills in the form of a badge.

If the comment is negative, we encourage you to respond…when appropriate. If someone is genuinely upset with your service in some way, ask what you can do to help. By responding to a disgruntled individual, you are showing everyone else who sees it that you do care and are open to discussing their frustrations.

Don’t attack back!

For any comment, but especially negative ones, it’s best to thank them for their comment. And again, be sincere. Just because someone came at you, a personal attack or not, doesn’t mean you can’t take the high road.  

Some negative comments are not worth responding to. This leads us into the next practice, hiding a comment.  

Hide Bad Comments
If you come across a negative comment that feels even slightly inappropriate, offensive or even perhaps is just confusing, don’t be afraid to hide the comment.

We wouldn’t recommend hiding comments too often, and in fact we think that some other industries shouldn’t hide comments at all. However, we all know the death care industry is unique. Even though life can be hard, you would never want one person’s opinion to cause pain for someone else, especially if you can help it from happening.

When you hide a comment, the person who wrote that comment will not be notified. If they look back on the post later, they will, in fact, still see their comment. Any of their friends also can still see a hidden comment. However, those who aren’t friends on Facebook with the person who commented won’t see anything. This is be benefit of hiding a comment, you don’t notify the one who commented yet the comment doesn’t have as much of an impact as if you were to leave it alone.

Really Bad Comments
We never hope you have to deal with any darker situations, but in case something does happen, there are other approaches that can be taken. Some last resort options include temporarily closing your reviews, adding more words to your page moderation list, and even banning someone from a specific post. If you are in a situation that seems more challenging than the ones we’ve outlined above, contact us.    

Hope these practices can keep your online reputation looking great! Do you have any great, go-to commenting strategies? We’d love to hear from you. Share with us in the comments section below.

Do you find yourself without a moment to check for comments and messages on your firm’s Facebook page? Sign up for our Comment Monitoring. Contact us to learn more.