If you are monitoring social media to listen in about your brand, take heed to this message… don’t interrupt the conversation!
If you see someone posting a crazy rant, do you really think you’ll be able to change their mind? The last think you want to do is come across as defensive in the social space.
Instead, use this opportunity to learn and listen!
If you feel that you can engage the user, then do so. Maybe they have a genuine issue that you can assist and resolve. In that case, by all means, help!
Be transparent and genuine, not defensive and antagonistic. Otherwise, you might start a verbal fight and that will make this negative experience worse.
Usually rants go away quickly, and if you were able to solve their problem, the rant might even be deleted or rescinded.
Also, if someone compliments you, you can certainly say thanks, but that may look a little like “big brother is watching”, so be mindful of where the praise was given.
What I have found is that if you have a good product/service, with a good following, if someone posts a negative, your customers come to your own defense, which is far stronger than you being defensive. And when they cheer lead your brand, other customers chime in.
Here’s a great article about listening versus participating: