The Good and Evil Presence in Your Online Communities
As you are building your brand and then maintaining your brand, you will get all sorts of people to notice you. Of course, you will get the right people to notice you. Those are people with whom you wish to interact. You will also get the wrong people to notice you online.
Everyone likes to have a say
There is no doubt that the Internet has given a lot of people freedom and opportunities that they never felt they had before. People who may not have had the confidence to express their opinions to you in person (or even over the phone) may find it a lot easier to be bold (sometimes, to the point of being obnoxious) online where they can enjoy relative anonymity. Of course, that ability to communicate freely can work positively as well.
There are many people who will take the opportunity to interact with you in a constructive manner and those interactions will serve to strengthen the relationships that you already share with those people. On the other hand, there are also going to be people who are not as appreciative of what you do and of how you do it and they will not hesitate to express exactly how they feel about that.
There are ways to handle the criticisms that you and your business will undoubtedly be on the receiving end of. It is important to bear in mind that the negative experiences in life are often the ones that teach you the most and those experiences are also frequently the most memorable. You tend to carry them with you wherever you go. It is important to understand that dealing with criticism in this context is different than merely learning how to deal with negative criticism and then moving on. You can’t necessarily apply that approach to successfully resolving the issues that you will be dealing with.
There are different “difficult” type of online people whom you will come across and you may have to deal with each type in a slightly different way.
- People who feel slighted: For many people who gather up the nerve to criticize you online, it may not be as pleasurable as you think it is. They may not actually enjoy issuing the criticism; however, in whichever way that person feels that he or she has been wronged, they feel the need to have their say. Interestingly enough, they often gather other people and bring them along for support. Of course, it is very true that human beings (all human beings) have the right to be treated with respect and dignity. However, it is also important that they treat you in the same manner. Of course, we all know that that doesn’t always happen in that way. There are many times when the other person forgets to be polite and behaves like a bull in a china shop. Of course, it is important for you to treat the situation with as much class and good breeding as possible although that may be difficult to accomplish sometimes. In any case, you should give it your best shot. After all, the last thing that you want or need is for the other person and his or her followers to tarnish your professional reputation in any way.
- People who love to hear themselves talk: There are many people (including you) who have strong opinions about all sorts of things. However, that doesn’t mean that the nearest soapbox is fair game and that everyone has an obligation to listen and agree with whatever they are saying. In such a situation, that person may tend to get off topic and preach about all sorts of irrelevant things. You will want to be careful about people like that. It is one thing to have a constructive, two-sided, well-balanced conversation discussion. It is another thing entirely to be a captive audience for the person who is talking at you and everyone else and is there just to cram his or her opinions down everyone’s throat. If what the person is saying has merit and is entirely legitimate, then, by all means, you owe it to that person to listen to what is being said and to try to help in any way that you can.
- People who feed on gossip: These are the people who are happy to be negative and they delight in watching other people have negative reactions. They are happy to spread the negative word around and they truly thrive on negativity. At the same time, if they have an issue with any of your products and/or services or the way that you conduct business, you should be prepared to understand how difficult it is to please that person. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to please them.
The fact is that there will always be good people and evil people who are a part of your online social communities. What is most important is knowing how to deal with negative criticism effectively and then learning from what you have experienced so that you can do better next time. Remember to truly listen to the other person whenever possible. They often have something valuable to say. If there is something that should be done as a result of the discussions that you have with other people online, remember to do it quickly and do it right. It will create a very positive perception of you and of your business.