Basic logic tells us that negative opinions have a negative impact on our perceptions. If a man leaves a restaurant complaining about the service, he’s likely to drive other customers away. But this is not always the case: even negative reviews provide publicity and visibility, and a good can outshine the bad.
It’s tempting for companies to smack the little guys around. After all, it’s easier to bump off some new startup by spreading FUD than it is to challenge the top dog in your industry! But easy pickings should be avoided, especially when it comes to online communication and social media: It’s far easier for a company to lose mindshare by calling attention to the little guys than it is to gain anything from even the most justifiable argument. That’s why I advise my clients always to punch above their weight.
The Internet is not as friendly as it often seems. Social media, including blogs, Twitter, online review sites, forums, and the rest, are truly democratic. The problem with a democratic medium is that everyone has both an opinion and a platform to express it. Companies love the positive attention they often get, but it’s much harder to deal with the negative. Here is a strategy to deal with not-so-nice comments.