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5 Useful Tips for Dealing with Online Criticism

Posted in Articles
How do you handle online criticism?

Online criticism needs to be handled carefully to avoid reputational damage.
Online criticism needs to be handled carefully to avoid reputational damage.

It’s a jungle out there. For all its uses and potential, the internet is not a place where politeness and amiability are among the most popular values. Millions of people share their opinions across a multitude of social communication channels wordwide and many of them do not mince matters. 
When expressing ourselves online in any form whatsoever – in reviews, blog posts, articles or comments – we lay ourselves wide open to attack. Though feedback from others can be very positive and encouraging, it can also be quite cruel and rife with verbal abuse. A thick skin is essential for survival in this rough environment.

Negative content online significantly affects organisations and institutions: Misjudged posts on social media, malicious comments and bad reviews can seriously harm their online reputation and economic success.


The following recommendations will help you cope with adverse circumstances:

  1. Consider the source of criticism

When it comes to professional issues, do not trust your friends to point them out to you. Strangers, however, will evaluate your work honestly and can thus prove invaluable: Their feedback allows you to improve anything that is lacking. Thus, if you receive any criticism, first consider the source and whether they have a valid point.

  1. Avoid the trolls

Trolls are internet users who purposefully stir up trouble – especially in social media communities. Their goal is to provoke others into an emotional response or otherwise disrupting the discussion by posting offensive or extraneous comments. In order to avoid damage to your online reputation, it is vital to deal with them effectively. It is advisable to ignore them where possible or use humour to deflect their harmful intent. You can also use Facebook algorithms to boost smart comments.

  1. Be open to constructive criticism

The internet is a breeding ground for different opinions and ideas. Therefore, whatever you publish on social media, in articles, opinions or blog posts, you cannot please everybody. By posting content online you are starting a conversation – invite people to contribute and encourage feedback. Criticism can be constructive, so try to read between the lines and ask people for their opinion.

  1. Use clear and understandable language

Make sure your articles, blog posts and comments on social media are coherent and comprehensible. Refrain from using many words or phrases that are rarely used in daily life. Your communications will benefit from a clear writing style, which will make you seem personable.

  1. Share solid content to keep your followers

If you act like an editor rather than a marketer, you will retain your followers and they will be more receptive to your messages. This means that you publish material that is interesting to them. Find out what they like in the first place by listening to their feedback.

Learn more about online marketing and social media strategies in Stavros Papagianneas’s eBook Powerful online communication.


Don’t miss part one and two of this blog series:

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