Are you and your company prepared and able to handle negative comments and bad-mouthing on social media? Let’s acknowledge it, there are people who follow you because they respect you and there are those that follow you to keep tabs on you; just waiting for a moment that you mess up.
It is logical to agree that social media is an influential tool. Anyone can be a publisher or an opinionated, unknowledgeable, attacker. Whether you are bad-mouthed professionally or personally, those who are attacked are able to minimize harm to their reputation quickly. It is suggested that you respond within 15 minutes of the original comment.
A comment or post can easily be taken out of context (in some states this is ground for false claim and I encourage you to look into this).
Behind the computer screen, I URGE YOU- scream, throw things, swear, but on social media, there is only one statute that should be followed: respond peacefully, respectfully, and politely. Of course, you will not be able to satisfy everyone but by responding this way, you are respecting yourself, your company, and every person following the response.
Professionally, I suggest you to take the time and thank them for their opinion (no matter how negative), apologize, then encourage, because it will ultimately improve your way of doing business.
Generally, the fundamentals of projecting their feelings and bad-mouthing typically stem from fear and the unfamiliar. Believe it or not, there is a social strategy of bringing others down. According to psychologists, Geher and Kauman (2013), bad-mouthing can be led to beneficial social outcomes, despite the hostile nature of their actions. This outcome is based off confidence that the bad-mouther develops. This is because of Social Power.
Social Power allows the negative bad-mouthers to capitalize and focus as a catalyst. Firing back at a bad-mouther on social media is risky because as we know it, a comment, post, or upload is NEVER fully deleted.
There are kinder paths to success of Social Power that I would like to share with you.
First, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you truly okay with bringing someone else down instead of building them up just to gain Social Power?
- Have you thought of other ways you can socialize with this person, via messenger?
- Have you considered that a post or comment was taken out of context?
- Professionally, have you discussed your concern face to face with the manager/owner?
As for the other hand of the bad-mouther, DO NOT GET FRUSTERATED AND DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY.
Here are a few additional tips to remember when dealing with someone who has personal matters.
- When they project, ask, “Is everything okay?”, “Why are you angry?”, “What can I do to help?”
We have to remember that people have bad days and good days. Do not defend yourself because their projection is not about you, it is about them.
- Face it, they will never apologize. No matter how respectful you respond, they will attempt to argue and belittle, more or less attempting to convince themselves.
Don’t feel bad. Some people would rather say that they are right rather than be happy.
- Remember, THEY WILL LEAVE A CONVERSATION UNFINSIHED. They will rant and rave then block you or go offline.
Do not let this bother you. Take it as a sign of a toxic relationship.
- Bad-mouthers will try to bring up irrelevant elements and even lies to continue an argument.
I URGE YOU. Leave the conversation with your dignity. They have already lost theirs, in this conversation.
Social media is about a speedy reaction and intelligent response. Keep in mind that there are tools that allow you to report violations, offensive behavior, hiding negative verbiage, unfriending, and blocking.
Think before you press Enter.
I am Katrina.