Facebook groups are a great way to get business, and we include using them in our social media strategies. But could you potentially harm your business by the way you use them?

Last week I spotted a post asking for restaurant recommendations in a Facebook group – nothing unusual there of course. There were plenty of comments recommending different places but inevitably someone commented advising people to avoid one of the recommendations. Understandably the restaurant owner challenged the comment, with a standard sorry you were disappointed reply. And then the argument started - with the restaurant owner clearly up against a “keyboard warrior” with an agenda. One I suspect was spotted by other posters later in the thread.

I must admit to finding it quite entertaining but was left worrying about the damage the restaurant owner had inadvertently caused her business by her response. Her replies became more aggressive as she defended her business. My advice to the owner would have been to respond once and then leave the other person to get on with it.

The restaurant owner is an active member of this particular group and it is not the first time that I’ve spotted her making ill advised remarks and getting into unnecessary arguments. It has made me think twice about using her business and I suspect that is the same for others.

Facebook groups are great for local businesses, especially if you are active and prominent in them. However, the downside of that is that you need to think before you post and especially if you wade into posts on contentious topics.

Social Media has been fantastic for local businesses, but it has its traps. Raising your profile as someone people want to do business with is easy but so too is saying something that will put people off. The old saying about avoiding religion and politics is even more true when it comes to promoting your business on social media, unless you have a combative personality and a thick skin.

The key to success on social media is to share engaging content and to engage with other people. If people mention your business in a Facebook group you should respond, as soon as you can. If someone replies to your social media posts it can be as simple as no comment, no business.

If someone is critical of your business, it is so tempting to reply rudely or aggressively. I recently received a message to a page I manage where my initial response was to send a rude emoji. I waited a while and responded politely.

If you do need to respond to negative comments, try these tips.


  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Don’t reply straight away but don’t leave it to long.
  3. Write down what you want to say and check how it reads before you post it.
  4. Once you have replied and made your point resist the temptation to respond again
  5. Remember it is your reputation that will suffer damage.


Our social media management package includes advice on using Facebook groups effectively, as well as advising what to do when you get unwelcome engagement.

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