In the past week, I’ve had two separate conversations with business owners who expressed concern about negative feedback or comments on social media. While they raise some legitimate concerns, I offer two pieces of feedback

First, we’ve managed social media accounts for numerous small businesses during the past few years, and there have only been a handful of negative interactions.

It’s certainly more of an issue when you’re a global company with million fans on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve also noticed it tends to be more prevalent in retail or the food service industry.

But for the average, service-based local business, I find interactions on social media outlets are almost always positive.

The other piece of advice I like to offer business owners is the adage that ‘you have to take the good with the bad.’

By engaging in direct conversations with customers, you have the opportunity to build stronger relationships and develop your brand. Yes, this does open the possibility for negative comments.

You can’t have one without the other, and what really matters is how you handle those negative comments. If you respond quickly and professionals, you’ll likely control any damage from the negative comments.