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Dealing with the H.A.T.E.R.S: tackling negative online comments that are hurting you and your business.

by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash

It has been said that the term H.A.T.E.R.S stands for Having Anger Towards Everyone Reaching Success; dealing with these types of people is an everyday reality for many. Whether you are doing well in your personal life or are rising in your career, there will always be at least one person who is positioning themselves to tear you down. Today, some of the worst displays of disdain is not in person but online. Comments, on a tweet, an Instagram post or a YouTube video, can be delightfully entertaining and funny. However, the comment section has a dark side. Negative comments can be aggressive, insulting, vindictive and mean.

The anonymity of the internet has given some vitriolic people the boldness to say whatever they want to whomever they want. Have you ever known someone who is very calm and shy in person but is very outspoken and talkative when you text them, the same principle applies to comments on the internet.

Psychologists who specialize in social media have found that negative comments can have a very strong effect on a person’s mental state. Many celebrities who use social media as a means to grow their career have taken note of its negative implications:

Kanye West has quit Twitter multiple times and Actress Leslie Jones declared in July 2016 that she would be leaving Twitter due to the high amount of Twitter trolls targeting her.

Kelly Marie Tran, known for her role in Star Wars: Last Jedi, declared how proud she was to be one of the first women of colour to ever appear in the Star Wars franchise, was met with a barrage of online harassment. The Actress has said that the hardest part of receiving negative comments is believing them.

In everyday life, it is not uncommon to read malicious comments on your posts, sometimes, it is better to either block the H.A.T.E.R.S or just take a break from social media for a little while in order to gain a clearer sense of reality.

But what if your H.A.T.E.R.S are targeting your business; hurting your brand and damaging your image.
How do you deal with your H.A.T.E.R.S?

Here are some tips:

by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash

Don’t take it personally
Comments that are either insulting or vindictive are not always directed at you or your business. Sometimes the people who leave comments don’t know anything about your business or product; many negative comments are rooted in a backstory that has nothing to do with you.

However, if the H.A.T.E.R.S still bother you, delete the comments or even disable the comment section if the platform allows it.
If some people constantly want to target your brand with negativity just block them altogether.
Take control of how the world sees you and your brand.

by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash

Don’t confuse your haters with your critics

Although comments can be hurtful, not all negative comments are bad.
If the comments are related to your business, perhaps you should read these critiques as a way of your customers highlighting issues with your product.

Sometimes telling the difference between critics and haters is difficult, especially when people are discussing something you care about, such as your business. It is best to ask someone you know and trust, such as a family member or a friend, to look at your comments and determine which comments you should heed and which one you should delete.

Negative comments that critique your business but don’t hate you can be very helpful in letting you know if your brand is moving in the right direction.

by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash

Love your H.A.T.E.R.S

Jay Baer, the CEO of Convince & Convert a multi-million dollar social media consulting company, said in his book Hug your Haters that you need to always love your haters, as they may be the key in improving your brand’s image. When there is a negative comment always respond in a constructive way, reply each person with why they feel this way about your business and ask if they have any suggestions that would improve their customer experience.

Your customers will take note of how you don’t shy away from negative criticisms and how you take all your customers thoughts into consideration when developing products. If the hateful comments continue after you respond , you are dealing with a hater not a customer, and it is best to either delete or don’t continue interacting with them.

On the other hand, if the comments turn into a conversations about how to improve your business; message each customer privately and ask if they had any other suggestions that could help your brand. If you have made changes, message them again and ask them what they think, as well as thank them for their support.

Let some of your haters become an asset in growing your business.

by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash

Remember having H.A.T.E.R.S can also be complimentary, if someone is taking valuable time out of their lives to go after you, you possess something worth having.

Jealousy is the best form of flattery.

If you want more information on how to love your haters and how to deal with negative criticism: click the link and watch Jay Baer talk about the importance of embracing complaints and keeping your customers.

— Beulah Samuel-Ogbu, Marketing Intern.

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