Keeping your Business Safe

Social Media Safety for Business Users

Using Social Media to help promote your business or services is a great way to connect with your customers. The social media platforms have a host of exciting tools and programs that help you promote your business but when healthy customer feedback on your social media pages gets out of hand it can feel uncomfortable and even hurtful.

Our social media channels are equivalent to customer service centers. Customers are more likely to post a comment on your Facebook page or message us on Instagram than phone a call center or helpline. Unfortunately, it does mean your company can be subjected  to negative feedback, trolling and harassment. So where do we draw the line between feedback and harassment and how do we protect out pages.

First of all – No one has the right to upset, intimate, harass or bully you online – ever– even if there was a mistake or error with your business delivering it’s service.  Negative feedback or customer reviews cross the line into harassment when they:

  • Personally attack you and not the issue with the service  ” You’re an idiot for getting my order wrong ” 
  • Are defamatory, untrue or grossly over exaggerated “Your business is corrupt and you hate your customers” 
  • Are aggressive or threatening ” I’m going to get you for this ” 
  • Swearing or using  upsetting language ” I wish you would die” 
  • Overly persistent or repetitive even after the issue has been solved ” answer me,” “get back to me now” “this is a joke” “it took 2 weeks to.. ” 

So what can we do to deal with harassment?

Use the BIRD System

Follow the BIRD principle to deal with unwanted visitors to your Facebook page


Block a nuisance person from your page. You can also choose to hide their comments. They will still be able to see it but no one else aside from your page admins will.


If you feel behaviour Is getting annoying or repetitive you can ignore it. The best practice is to take the conversation offline. Chances are, if provided with a phone number to discuss grievances, the disgruntled customer won’t call. Yet, it still shows the other customers you have tried to resolve the issue.


Take the conversation offline or into a private message and if you feel its appropriate to reason with the customer.


Comments that’s are extremely unnecessary or potentially upsetting to others can be hidden or deleted from your page. Try not to make a habit of removing posts or comments you don’t like because this can also result in customers thinking you have something to hide and may incite further attacks. However, if you’ve resolved a customer’s complaint and they are happy, you can ask them politely to delete it. Most people will oblige.

At the end of the day, it’s your page and your business. You have the right to remove any comments that you don’t want to affect your brand.

Protect your Social Media pages


On your page setting, you will find a profanity filter that will automatically scan and blocks comments containing certain keywords on the profanity list. Facebook creates this list from commonly reported words or phrases and compiles them into what’s considered ‘medium’ (PG13) ‘strong’ (R-rated movie style) and ‘off’ completely allowing any words under the sun to be used in posts. If your brand is conservative or family-orientated set the filter to high. If you are okay with some mild language then ‘medium’ will cover you.

How to Set up Comment Controls on Instagram

Instagram has a version of a comment filter called “comment controls”  and this can be found inside of the setting in the privacy and security section. You can select to add specific words to be blocked or block commonly reported words or choose to turn comment blocking off.

Choose how you allow customers to post on your Facebook page 

As much as customer engagement is encouraged at times of PR crisis or negative media and unwanted attention, you can choose to turn off the ability to post or comment freely or place visitor posts into a review system for approval.

Set up a list of blocked words

Facebook can block certain keywords from pages comments or posts. If they are detected they will automatically be marked as spam, providing admins with an opportunity to approve or decline before they become visible. (NB: These are in addition to the normal profanity filter settings).

If you experience a PR crisis centred on an individual or event, you can enter the names and phrases associated with this to add to your blocked word list. This will help you control what is posted with regards to the situation.

Useful Resources

Facebook has a devoted online security and safety guide for businesses

Click here to visit Facebook’s Safety Center
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