Today, I want to talk about why writers feel it necessary to delete negative posts on their social media sites, not approve or disallow negative comments on their blogs, and as a general rule, stress over bad reviews. I call this “brushing off the haters”.
The obvious reason is: it hurts. Writers are, for the most part, a sensitive lot. We love what we do so much that we share it with the world. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t always like what we offer. It’s okay to have a knee-jerk reaction to those painful comments and reviews. Writers are only human after all.
But this post is all about reasons NOT to do it. How it hurts your brand.
Brand image and the haters
So, you have created this great brand as a writer. Say, you are a True Crime Historical Mystery Writer. (excuse me to those who really ARE this invented thing-I didn’t know!) And you get a lot of negative comments on your Facebook (Google, Twitter, Linkdin etc) page. People say you are more mystery than true crime. They say you don’t know history. They say, *gulp* you can’t write dog. So whatcha gonna do?
Hide the comment. (delete the comment, refuse to approve the comment etc)
Because this–interaction–however negative it may be, is truly what you are trying to achieve. You have gotten someone’s attention. INDULGE in it. Have a good conversation with this “hater” and find out what made them say whatever. You may get more comments and interaction, some good souls will likely come to your rescue. At any rate, your standing on Facebook will jump significantly. Not to mention the fact that you will have the opportunity to change someone’s mind about your or your work.
Also, there may be another writer out there who is following you and they have this situation too. We are all mentors one to another. We all learn from each other. Even those who do not play nice are valuable in our writing life.
Exception: Do not engage in arguing-or go off the deep end trying to convince a troll who just wants to fill the day (and your feed) with a lot of tripe. Yes, there are some. You will know the difference quickly. Social sites are getting better at shutting everyone up, so don’t let your site get shut down by interacting with someone who is just out to be a butthead. Maybe I will try to find time to make another post about Internet abuse.
But, if it is a genuine comment, by someone who genuinely wants to be helpful, one that has merit, please do converse with your customer. They want to know that you care about their opinion, and you can grow and become a better writer for having listened. Not to mention gaining a real true-blue fan.
Kim Smith is the author of the Case of the Missing Body series, An Unexpected Performance, and coming soon, a caper mystery series! You can find more about Kim at http://www.kimsmithauthor.com