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How to handle social-media criticism

Here are effective ways to effectively handle criticisms from netizens over the social media.
By Ann Tran |
How to handle social-media criticism

‘Keyboard courage’ has some people posting cruel things they would otherwise not say to someone's face.  Hiding behind a screen is not a shield.  


While your first reaction may be to fire back, understand that this isn't an appropriate response.  By firing back in social media, this is exactly what feeds the beast. 


Flying off on a rant and private messaging or calling the critics to give them a piece of your mind will definitely delist you.  They may curse you out.  Being graceful is the way to go. 


Plus, a sense of entitlement is an extreme way to alienate yourself in social media. In this platform, you really need to work hard to be noticed.  Make the effort and your work will speak for itself.


Related: 3 social media rules most entrepreneurs don't follow


When you are being criticized online, it would help to observe these advices.



Rise above it.  You cannot change people's behavior, but you can change the people you choose to stick around or follow on social media. You can choose a negative or positive attitude.  Pick your path wisely.


angry_man_274175_640.jpgRemain neutral. Always take emotions out of the discussion to aid productivity and possibly provide the other person with a reason to shift his or her mindset. This will allow both parties to examine or re-examine both perspectives.



Keep in mind no one is perfect. Everybody has flaws.  Power magnifies the flaws and cracks. You have to amplify the strengths and focus on what is productive rather than all the weaknesses.  If an individual asks for your opinion online (or if you are extremely close to them), you can provide positive suggestions about possible improvements. Set your boundaries so you are not drawn into the drama of social media.


Stay data focused. Be professional and stick with the facts.  There are some discussions that will neither warrant your time nor your effort in your social media steams.  Be diplomatic, be fair, and be factual.


Be courteous of people's time.  Just remember, social media provides us with a tool to access so many opportunities. Be cognizant that people have a life outside of social media. If you are going to make an argument or deal with critic, make it succinct. Don’t get dragged in to an hour-long ordeal.



Related: What would Jane Austen do? A guide to social media etiquette


Try to take the conversation offline.  Before you do, you may want to peruse their tweets and posts to determine whether it is actually worth your time and energy.  You may even want to Google the individual.  There are only so many hours in the day, so pick your battle wisely.


cry_62326_640.jpgTake action.  Do you ever block someone? What if someone is extremely rude and starts making personal attacks.  What do you do?  I remain cordial because eventually you will run into the person at a tweet-up or a conference.  When you stay polite and courteous, you will not feel uncomfortable or awkward since you have not done anything wrong. 



When all fails, ‘unfollow’ or block the person. 


“It's quality and not quantity.” Although this is true, that number is a gauge of success. One can reach a larger audience, but also remember that with a larger audience, careful curation of your social channels is also part of the formula.  And minding your P's and Q's can make all the difference.  Remember, you could eventually meet these people face-to-face, so treat them online like you would treat them in person.


Related: Social media etiquette: 5 questions to ask before posting about the news


Copyright © 2014 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been done by the editor.


Images from Pixabay


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