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Andy’s Answers: How to defend against negative word of mouth

2 min read

Brands & Campaigns

People will say bad things about you. In fact, it’s already happening. And while you shouldn’t expect to be immune from negative conversations about you, there are some basic defenses you can establish to help protect yourself from it.

What to do:

  • Build credibility before you need it. Focus on being a regular participant and a known name in the key blogs and forums related to you and your industry. It’ll make it much easier to share your side of a story when you’re being attacked.
  • Bring it inside the tent. If people can’t complain on your site, they’ll do it elsewhere anyway. Instead, have your own blog or forum where your fans and critics alike can engage you. Your fans will likely help out, and you won’t have to spend as much time chasing negative conversations around the Web.
  • Let your fans do it. If you’ve been successful in earning the love and respect of your fans, your talkers will be eager to help. Ask them for assistance in a particular forum or on a particular topic. Just be careful that your request doesn’t come off as an organized attack on a particular critic.

Never get caught by surprise. Online conversations happen extremely quickly. You need to be there at the beginning; otherwise, you’ve lost all hope to make a meaningful impact.