Written by Lisa Kalner Williams

March 23, 2016 at 5:00 am

How to Stay on Top of Facebook Ad Comments (without losing your mind)

[[updated November 17, 2017]]

If you’re a seasoned Facebook admin and have an active Facebook page, you’re probably pretty good at responding to comments on your organic posts.

How quick are you to respond to comments on your unpublished posts (aka: dark posts) — you know those posts that appear in users’ newsfeeds when you create a Facebook ad and target the newsfeed?

You’re not going to tell me that you ignore those comments, are you?

Just don’t.

It’s a double-edged no-no if you don’t reply to comments on your newsfeed ads. If you ignore the positive comments, you’ll miss potential opportunties to gather valuable testimonials, pass along encouraging feedback to your teammates (or client), and build stronger relationships with the people who interact with your Facebook content.

If you don’t pay mind to the negative comments, your brand will look like a devil-may-care advertiser. Even worse, the negative “social proof” of these comments will overshadow any brand awareness or call to action you tried to achieve in your ad.

I recently stumbled upon the following ad in my newsfeed. It’s been running for a while and has received more than 200 comments. (Wow!):

Facebook dark post

But when you look at this endless thread of comments: they range in sentiment from praise to inappropriate to total spam. And no feedback from the brand behind the ad, ever.

Look at this great comment, the kind of comment every brand would LOVE to get. I’d be all over them, asking for a testimonial, adding them to my ambassador program, etc., etc. Here? Nothing. Not even a thank you note:

Now look at this negative comment. This guy “really wants to try” the product but has issue with the name of the product. A nice word from the brand would definitely be appropriate:

negative comment of facebook dark post

Here’s a spammy comment. Do you think comments like these are helping this ad’s performance?

Spam comment dark post facebook

And it goes on and on — more than 200 of them. This seems like a waste of ad dollars, don’t you think? It certainly doesn’t give the best possible image of the brand and the product.

In this other example, those negative (sometimes inappropriate) comments will damage the effectiveness of the ad. They should be removed or hidden:

Facebook dark post comments

Here, Betabrand should definitely get rid of those comments giving a bad impression on the look and feel of the product. If you intially thought those pants looked good, you’ll start feeling that it’s not a product you’d like to wear after reading the first few comments!

How would you feel if you were bumping into an ad on your newsfeed, started to show some interest and then, the first comment you see under the ad tells you how bad the product is or looks like? Would you be less likely to click on the ad to learn more?

That’s what I thought.

Crazy to think about — but an ad you spend money on can do more brand damage than good if you don’t take the time to spend a few minutes a day responding to dark post comments.

Facebook Ads Free Trial
Here are the best ways for you to manage those comments and make sure you’re not jeopardizing your Facebook ads investment:

The Best Ways to Manage Facebook Dark Post Comments

If this was enough convincing for you to consider upping your dark post commenting game, let’s talk about the best ways to tackle this. Not surprisingly, it’s not a one-solution-fits-all scenario. But most likely you fall into one of two camps.

If you:

  • manage dark posts for just one Facebook page
  • are the only active page admin
  • receive no more than five daily comments on your dark post ads

your management will be light enough to use Facebook’s comment moderation tool to respond to your posts’ comments. Two advantages here: Facebook is a platform you already know — and the comment moderation tool is free. (You just have to pay for the ads.)

Simply click “notifications” on the top nav bar of your admin view. Then look left and click “comments” to dash away the page’s other notifications.

facebook native ad comments

From there you can go one-by-one and address all your ads’ comments.

If you:

  • manage dark posts for several Facebook pages
  • are part of a team of page admins
  • running more than five simultaneous campaigns
  • receive many comments daily on each of your ads

you have enough volume to seriously seek a third-party tool to centralize those comments, establish a workflow with your team, and respond easily to all the comments on your posts.

Dollar Shave Club has figured out how to manage these comments. With over two million Facebook fans and probably millions of people targeted by their ads, they most likely fall into this latter camp. As you can see, most of the comments they receive on their ads are basically customer support. Not responding to them would defeat the purpose of Dollar Shave Club running the ad in the first place.

Facebook dark post comments

Dollar Shave Club has seized the opportunity to reply to every comment on its Facebook dark posts. There are more than 490 comments on that single ad!

I know you need another tool like you need a third armpit, so let me run through three relatively affordable social media management tools you might already be using that have dark post commenting functionality.

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite allows you to create a feed to monitor your unpublished posts. Once you set up the column, you’ll get your unpublished posts in chronological order.

But here’s the rub: You won’t get the *comments* in chronological order in your stream. That means that you have to click through all the posts in that column to unearth what folks have recently said on all your currently running dark posts.

unpublished ad monitoring hootsuite

Imagine if you’re running 10 concurrent unpublished posts that get about 50 comments a day. That’s a LOT of clicking through to get to what you want.

Hootsuite may certainly do the trick if you have up to 2 or 3 ads running at any given time. However, if you’re running several campaigns and do some A/B testing on them, going back to that “first camp” option — the Facebook native interface — will probably be more intuitive for you.

2. Sprout Social

Sprout Social also has the ability for you to monitor the comments on your dark posts. But Sprout’s “Unified Mailbox” well, unifies, all your comments in a way that makes it difficult to find your unpublished post comments.

Sprout Dark Post

In Sprout Social, there’s no way to separate paid post comments from organic post comments or direct messages.

Sprout doesn’t offer a filter to concentrate your efforts on just your ads comments. Instead, those comments will be mixed in the flow of comments of both organic posts or ads. This may be a little difficult to sort through the noise — which is kind of why you’re seeking a tool in the first place, right?

Sprout also relies mostly on Facebook webhook (previously called real time update) to gather comments from your unpublished posts. In our team’s experience, those webhooks are pretty unstable. And unstable means it’s hard for you as a user to be 100% assured that you’ll be fed all your comments, especially if you’re receiving a whole bunch of them

Sprout Social can also pretty expensive if you’re managing your social profiles as a team because they charge per user.

3. Agorapulse

Agorapulse has built a tool so that its users never miss a comment on posts — regardless if they are organic or paid. As such, users will see the most recent comments on their posts as soon as they log into their Inbox.

One flick or tap of the filter and you’ll set your eyes just on dark post comments.

facebook ad comments

With two clicks, you’re able to respond to the comments on your unpublished posts. In the event that you get comments that are inappropriate or go against your community rules, you can also easily hide or delete those comments.

facebook ad monitoring

You can even set automated moderation rules to automatically handle the obvious offenders automatically. Thanks to these automated rules, it’s easy to hide by default all comments containing a URL (http) or insults like the ones below.

If an answer to a particular comment is outside your expertise, simply assign it to another team member.

assign facebook ad comments

Agorapulse’s connection to Facebook’s Marketing API and Graph API means that comments are in sync 100% of the time. If you want to learn more about how it’s done, this FAQ will definitely help.

What makes Agorapulse’s sync system unique is a combination of simultaneous calls to the Marketing API (aka the Ads API) and the graph API. All the other tools only rely of the Graph API of the real time webhook, but these 2 APIs have no information on your active campaigns This is why they will probably miss some (or many) of your ads’ comments (depending on your volume).

On the other hand, the Marketing API has that information about your active campaigns, but cannot read the comments on those ads. A combined call to both APIs is necessary to first identify all the active campaigns/ad sets/ad creatives. Once we have that information, we gather all the comments on those active ads using the Graph API.

Assume that if a tool doesn’t ask you to connect your ad account, you won’t get this comprehensive roundup of all your ad comments.

(We’ll ask you to hook up your ad account.)

Our tech team has spent 3 months doing R&D on that feature alone. No other tool on the market has invested in that direction — but we know how important this feature is for people running ads.

Take a peek at how Agorapulse can lessen the craziness of answering comments on your Facebook ads.

Better yet, why don’t you start a free trial of Agorapulse and try it out with your own ads!


How to Stay on Top of Facebook Ad Comments (without losing your mind) from AgoraPulse
Lisa Kalner Williams

Lisa Kalner Williams is the Lead Social Media Strategist for Sierra Tierra Marketing and the Content Marketing Director for Agorapulse. You might see her speaking across the country on how to better market using Instagram.

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