Have you been ridiculed on the Net? Been mocked? Criticized?
Trolls and haters on the internet crave attention.
These sort of people often post stuff anonymously.
Dealing with defamation and derision on the internet can be challenging.
It can feel as if you are under siege.
But take heart, if you get attacked you might just be one your way to be an opinion leader in your industry.
It takes guts to be an opinion leader.
If a hater has rained on your parade because you've taken a stand or been successful in your career you are not alone.
Michael Stelzner from the Social Media Examiner recently wrote an article called "Haters: How to Deal with Haters & Trolls on Your Business".
Stelzner reckons that haters are those people who seem to get great joy out of saying nasty things about you or your company online.
"If you let the haters have their way then they have succeeded and you have failed," says Michael.
In his Stelzner's podcast he interviews Marcus Sheridan from the blog "The Sales Lion".
Marcus defines haters as people who are coming from a point of view of scarcity (rather than abundance).
“If a [hater] feels like there is a certain amount of success achieved by somebody else they look in the mirror and it frustrates them. And they look at the other person and ask why they are achieving success when they feel that they deserve it more. It is a negative space,” said Marcus.
In Australia and the United Kingdom they call it the Tall Poppy Syndrome.
Toll Poppy Syndrome is a term used to describe a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticized because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.
Remember, for every one hater there are loads of people out there who love you.
Marcus Padley, a regular on Breakfast TV and a business commentator recently wrote an article about Elite Private School Fees in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Suddenly he was deluged with more than 270 comments on his opinion piece. He got so much push-back and he later referred social tools on the web as "anti-social media" rather than "social media".
Social media as a phenomenon is actually only been around for less than a decade. Facebook, for example, first kicked off in 2004.
As business owners navigating through social media we are still learning how to traverse what can sometimes be a minefield.
Marcus says that you can go online and post something negative on Facebook, and then all your negative friends will agree with you, while your positive friends just ignore that post. “These haters might feel like “everybody’s with you” whereas in reality there is a lot of people looking at you thinking “good grief that person is messed up”.
If you do something out of the box.
If you are a pioneer, a leader in your industry or sector, then you can become a target.
Marcus reckons there are three types of people online:
It is important to focus on those customers who you know you can help.
The ones who are on the same wave-length as you are.
You are likely to have a cadre of supporters.
Some businesses don’t get involved in social media because they are worried about possible negative energy from trolls.
Marcus says if those businesses keep going despite the negativity then those businesses are the ones who will become the leaders of their industry.
Derek Halpern from Social Triggers says that you are in control of your web site/s (or blog or forum or linked in group).
If someone harasses you – ban them.
“Every second you waste fretting over one hater is one second you can spend making a loyal customer happy, or even happier. Ten years from now what will benefit your business and life more? Stressing over one idiot or wowing your customers?” said Derek.
When the haters attacked Michael Stelzner and his team recently he chose to ignore the criticism. Michael told his team not to engage with the negative commentary.
Michael did “fight” in the past but found that every word was turned against him.
You cannot debate with the trolls and leave feeling uplifted says Marcus.
"You can't always keep everyone happy. The person who says you always got to make it right I think to myself, hmm 'I don't know how long has this person been in business?' I have been in multiple businesses and I’ve got multiple clients. We understand who we cannot make happy. Sometimes you just have to wish them well and let them go their merry way," said Marcus Sheridan.
You might be aware that there are some imitators of Battlefield Sports patented products on the internet. And we have had a bucket load of hate poured on us and our team over the last 18 months or so.
I say "no" to the haters and trolls.
We've spent our time building your brand. So I encourage you if you want to get genuine laser tag equipment then check its authencity.
I encourage you if this happens to you, focus on building your business not on what the haters and trolls are spruiking.
If the person does have a point, then communicate with them one-on-one and see if you can work through and perhaps resolve their issues. This is best done privately, off-line perhaps face to face or on the phone.
You might just be surprised, just sometimes, a hater can be converted into a fan.
Meanwhile, ignore the trolls and keep spreading the news about your good works and success stories with your audience.
Keep posting on your social media stream how you help your customers.
Focus your energy on the positive.
Keep fighting your “good fight” and say to yourself and your team “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” you might just be surprised at the level of support for you recieve as a leader in your industry.