What should you do about people online who want to discredit you and your ideas on the Internet? You certainly have competitors with a vested interest in causing harm to you and your reputation online. You could also be the target of ignorant and bored individuals who think it is amusing to go online and disparage other people.
Either way, if you're trying to create an online presence using new media and social media tools to establish your authority as a subject matter expert on the Internet, then you'll need to know how to handle these individuals.
Of course, you may remove their negative comments or set up your account profiles to screen their comments before they get posted, but is that the best way to handle it? The answer might be no.
At a conference in San Diego recently, I had the opportunity to visit with Paul Colligan, who is best known for his expertise in online video promotion, youtube marketing and video email marketing. I told him about TestMyTeen.com, a company that sells home drug tests and home drug test kits online to parents.
As you can imagine, there are all sorts of people, drug users in particular, who don’t consider the similarities between a parent looking at a report card to MAKE SURE their kids are doing well in school and parents looking at the results of a drug test at home to MAKE SURE their kids are living a drug free lifestyle. Comments directed at TestMyTeen.com’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and blogs are often less than complimentary.
Paul didn’t see this as an obstacle. He saw it as an opportunity.
What better social proof could TestMyTeen.com possibly put on display than a bunch of critics arguing about why it’s no big deal for kids to experiment with drugs? Let critics argue that a 12 year old’s “right to privacy” in their PARENTS’ home should outweigh things like the legal and health dangers of heroin use, cocaine use, or possession.
If parents had any doubt about how accessible drugs were to their kids or how little fear of consequences so many kids have regarding drugs, what better way to show them than to let them see it for themselves. The more TestMyTeen.com’s opponents try to discredit their online website promotion and website marketing strategy, the more the critics demonstrate the nationwide need for their services.
Based on that discussion with Paul, there may be plenty of incidents where it is best to “love the hate” and resist the urge to silence your critics online. Turn your adversaries into allies.