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Embracing Your Haters on Social Media

By Kelley White, Digital Marketing Project Coordinator, - October 2, 2015

Embrace Your Haters in the Workforce.jpgDo you get exhausted from trying to win everyone’s approval? Become obsessed over what people think of your work? Tend to take things personally? Nobody enjoys criticism, although, it can be helpful.

Once you obtain some experience, you might just realize that you don’t know everything and there is a substantial amount you can learn from others. From baby steps to, if your like me, oh so horrid math skills! i=- √ of  WHAT!!! (Let me just go ahead and stop there.) On to the pathway that I have paved and that has landed me where I am today!  

When working on the daily grind, and finally reaching completion of a task only to have the results of your work critiqued, it can sometimes make you feel like giving up. We're always being told to use what we have, so USE IT! Embrace the haters. Side Note: [for those of you not up-to-date on the lingo] "Haters" is a word that is more popular in internet and social media presence meaning a negative or critical person. We think of the word haters and usually see it as a negative thing. Use what they are saying to build and perfect your brand. While praise and positive feedback is favorable, you’re more likely to learn from someone correcting you or pointing out your flaws. With that said, I'll take a hater any day. Every complaint gives your business another opportunity to learn and grow. This is where social media may uncover more opportunities than you think.

Here are some pointers on haters:

1. Listen to them. Complaints indicate points that your business needs to address, and you want to address them quickly. The faster you discover them, the faster you'll be able to repair the delicate parts of your business. In the end, it will show people that you are quick to solve problems. At the same time, you are making your business stronger.

2. Leave no complaint(s) unanswered. Look at every individual complaint as an opportunity to grow and learn from. Without insight from others, how would you know how to provide them something fit for their needs? Great customer service is essential for your business. Be kind, provide solutions and offer what you can. Something that may have started as a complaint may end up making your business shine. Use this as an opportunity. 

3. Plan your responses appropriately. Complaints can be handled in several ways. Be sure you go about it the right way and your efforts will lead to recognizable results. It used to be said that if someone is pleased with something they may tell 3 other people, but if they are displeased, they will tell at least 10 (I am sure that is a lot different now with the internet and social media). So responding to negative feedback in a positive - and timely - way, is extremely important, especially in our age of instant communication.

Happy customer advocates, fans, and followers represent and talk about your brand with passion.  If they are also passionate about your brand, then that can provide influential engagement and can amplify brand awareness. Those conversations can be offline and online. Social Platforms make the online presence more powerful, giving your content the possibility to go viral.

Volunteered criticism doesn’t always come off lightly from someone who is just trying to be beneficial. A lot of the feedback we receive is unsolicited, and it doesn’t always come from someone you’d expect to learn from. We don’t control what others do or say, whether they'll approve or disapprove, or will form opinions and share them with others. What we can control is how we internalize it, respond to it and LEARN from it.

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