What type of reaction do you have when somebody says something negative about your business or your website? If you manage a blog or a forum, what do you do when somebody complains about your website in one way or another? Delete the comment? Return the favor?
It’s a simple case of mathematics. The larger you get, the more publicity you will receive. I hope I’m not surprising you when I tell you that all publicity is not positive. You should be prepared for the negative comments, because they will surely present themselves at one time or another.
You know the old saying: There’s no such thing as bad publicity. To an extent, that statement can be true. I’ll take the first recent example that comes to mind. Chris Brown. I could care less about the pop star world, but this guy who I had never really heard of before he was accused of assaulting singer Rihanna has been all over the news since. Is it bad publicity? In one aspect it is, but in another aspect, a lot of people now know who he is and are keeping track of any news that arises which he is a part of. In the long run, these accusations may actually help his popularity.
When bad publicity or comments come your way, give it a 24 hour cooling down period before you take any action. The worst publicity for you comes from yourself, not what other people say. If you’re heated up, you may say something that you will later come to regret. After 24 hours, decide how to handle the matter.
If all comments about you are positive, what would prompt the next person who comes across them to add their thoughts? On the other hand, if you’ve got a blog with many loyal readers and somebody comes along out of the blue and posts a bad comment about it, instead of deleting it why not let your readers stick up for you? They will, just give them time. It will prompt more and more comments to your blog, and your visitors will come back over and over again to see what else has been said on the matter. It’s just free publicity.
Of course, there are times when you can truly be in the wrong. Don’t be afraid to apologize or admit fault even if you think that it may damage your online reputation. In contrast, your readers will most likely gain a better impression of you and respect you for your honesty.
There are, of course, the rotten apples that will spam your site or just include some language that you just will not tolerate on your site. There’s nothing wrong with deleting or editing the comments when necessary.
Just remember that talking about your site whether positive or negative is still talking about your site. Don’t make the mistake that many others do of cherry picking your visitors comments. If you really want to make a success of your site, you should be interested in what your visitors have to say and you’ll understand that comments both positive and negative are just a thing that comes with the business.