Your company is under attack. A daily barrage of criticisms, vitriol, and downright nasty comments are being flung your way using social media. You are Satan. You are evil. Your company prospers by killing its customers. The government should shut you down. Hell is too good a place for you to go when the zombie apocalypse that you created comes breaking down your door, oblivious to your screams of terror as they drag you down into the abyss…
If not. Say a prayer of thanks, count your blessings, and move along.
For the rest of us who live or have lived being anonymously hated because of where you work, you are not alone.
There are a lot of us who have experienced it. We work for a great company. We work with great people. We see the good the company and its products do every day. And yet, the screaming voices on Twitter and Facebook paint a very different picture. And one that doesn’t match reality.
So what do we do?
There are actually three main approaches you could take.
First, you can walk away. Shut down Facebook. Turn off Twitter. Disengage. Act like the mob doesn’t exist. And you’ll be happy. Until the rabble makes so much noise that someone important pays attention and your world comes unglued that is. But until then, ignorance is bliss.
Second, you can engage with everyone. Talk to every critic. Use reason and logic when debating insanity. Answer every inane question you are asked. And as you feel your sanity slipping away, you’ll know that you gave all for a worthy cause.
Third, you can land somewhere in the middle. You can selectively engage with critics who seem open to a real discussion. You can answer the crazies in generalities, without adding fuel to their fire by granting them credibility due to your notice of them. You can ensure transparency is a daily occurrence online. You can monitor the concerns of others, and respond, and sometimes even change your business practices. And you can tell the story of your company using the real people behind your walls who are passionate about what they do and the positive difference they are making in the world.
I’d recommend door number three.
Because I’ve seen it work. And I’ve made it work. And I’m still sane. I think…