Proactive vs. Defensive

What it Means to be Proactive

Proactive responses are ways in which the company engages with a comment –typically negative,– and respond in such a way that it does not tarnish the relationship between the parties. This is normally approached as a deescelating message followed up by an offer to settle the conflict privately.


This post is from Fashion Nova’s Instagram Page

Notice, that the post is regarding the photo on the left. The Comment on the right is about an unrelated product. Fashion Nova responds in a way that provides acknowledgment for the consumer and offers support via giving them information.

What is Defensive Responding

Defensive Responding is when the company response is focused on only validating the company’s actions and denying any validity to the commenter’s concerns. This is not how you want to handle comments. It negatively impacts the relationship between the follower and the brand and ends up hurting the company more.


This post from Carolina Girl’s Facebook page was met with avid retaliation and blamed the company for pushing blame onto shoppers

The company claimed after an internal investigation, that they could not find any evidence of an employee saying the alleged term against Ms. Parham. On top of that, they stated the only logical way this was otherwise possible was if another shopper said it. Thus, in one fell swoop, this company blamed a very serious accusation on its own customers in an attempt to satisfy the social demand.


When you are trying to determine how to respond to irritation messages whether they are false claims, unrelated issues, misunderstandings, or otherwise; remember to be proactive, not defensive.

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