By Samantha Cortez

“Social media is the modern form of comment cards for a company; you’re asking for feedback: the good, the bad, and the ugly. If a brand deletes a comment on Facebook, it’s effectively showing consumers they don’t care about their opinions and doesn’t value their feedback. It’s equivalent to ripping up that comment card in the customer’s face.”

Deleting comments that customers leave on any social media site is defeating one of the main purposes of social media, which is to have an open forum.

Unless a comment is highly offensive or off-topic, a polite response shows more about the ethics of your company than deleting it. Use negative comments to continue improving your business in the future.

“There’s no way to control what consumers will say, and no way to stop all negative quotes. Rather than delete, always respond to negative comments, starting with two of the most important words in social media: ‘I’m sorry.’”

This article was originally featured by Business Insider on June 8, 2012.