In praise of detractors

If you handle your response the right way, you can turn your biggest critics into your most vocal fans.

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My new favorite hashtag is #HugYourHaters. I discovered it while reading a terrific recap of Social Media Marketing World 2015. Coined by social media guru Jay Baer, who not coincidentally has a book coming out by the same title, #HugYourHaters is a mantra more marketers should embrace. Here’s why:

1. Online detractors are doing you a favor. There are rules for social media, and one of the most important is “no spamming.” You can’t just fill the social channel with nonstop talk about the features and benefits of your products or services. It’s the online equivalent of going to a party and talking about nothing and no one but yourself. That said, if an online detractor has left a complaint or rant in a public arena, you are well within your rights to leave a compelling response outlining why the original poster is mistaken, or apologizing for a mistake and offering to fix it, thereby showing off your superior customer service skills and taking advantage of an opportunity to tell your story. In other words, detractors give you the opportunity to take your key messages for a public outing in a way you couldn’t otherwise do without appearing like a self-absorbed boor.

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