When you put yourself on the internet negativity is inevitable. No matter how nice or transparent or friendly you are some people just won’t like you. You’ll also make mistakes and be called out for them. I haven’t had much negativity as a personal blogger since I keep a regularly low profile but I have had a few instances of negativity since creating this blog. I also handle negativity for my clients from time to time.
I’ve found that there are two steps to approaching negativity online.
Assess The Type Of Negativity
There are many forms of negative feedback that can occur online.
Support Issues: This is where someone has a problem with a product or service you provide or a problem with your website.
Constructive Criticism: This is where you may have made a mistake, had your words taken out of context or just created an environment that isn’t user or reader friendly.
Trolls: These are the people who just don’t like you and feel the need to be vocal about it.
Respond Based On The Type Of Negativity
Immediately Respond: If you know you did something wrong and you want to apologize and or offer a solution do so. Only respond immediately if you know for sure how to solve the issue. Unfortunately people expect a fast response on social media and sometimes it’s best to give them that. Immediate responses work best with support issues but may also work with constructive criticism.
Think And Then Respond: This is best if the person has some constructive criticism that may hurt your feelings or that you hadn’t even noticed until that point. If you find yourself becoming defensive you should take a moment and really ask yourself if what that person is saying is true. If so offer a public apology and open a dialogue if you can. Your followers will respect your transparency.
No Response: This is the option to choose if the person is a troll. There isn’t a reason to engage with this person because it will only end negatively. This is the only option in which I would advise you to delete the comment or block the person on social media. Nothing good comes from the trolls so don’t feed them.
How have you dealt with negative feedback online?