Facebook is like the rap battle that never ends.
There’s no debating, just posturing. No point and counterpoint, no real discussion. Just one-upmanship and mic drops. There are no question marks on Facebook, not really; just a lot of exclamation points. Aggressive posts with passive-aggressive responses instead of arguments.
And you can’t leave the ring. Despite your best intentions and “facebook fasting”, your business needs you to maintain a media presence.
As the great strength coach Mel Siff once told me, “As soon as you plant your flag, people are going to start shooting.” You’re going to get a bad review, or negative comments. People will want to draw you into a fight. And every instinct you have will whisper, “Let’s do this!”
Here’s how to win the fights on Facebook:
- Don’t get into fights on Facebook. There’s no benefit to you, or your company. You don’t need to win to win.
- If you’re attacked, delete the post. What are they going to do: post again? If so, revisit the first part of this tactic.
- If you get a bad review, you can’t delete it. But you SHOULD respond. Try this: “We’re so sorry you had a bad experience. We do our best to deliver the best XYZ in town, and our feedback is usually very positive. I’m sorry this wasn’t a good fit.”
Sooner or later, everyone’s going to get a bad review. It’s like the first little scratch in your car: you can’t truly relax until it happens anyway.
- Go for a walk before you respond. Bad news can wait. They don’t deserve your full and immediate attention. Sun Tzu even recommends forcing your opponents to wait as a tactic in “The Art of War”.
- Read the entire post out loud to someone supportive. You’ll probably laugh. Get it out of your head and into the world where it can die of exposure.
Finally, ask yourself, what’s their REAL motive?
Several months ago, I was invited to a “facebook debate” with an aspiring business consultant. I declined, because I realized it wasn’t going to be a debate at all. It was just a chance for him to jump onstage and share some of the credibility and trust I’ve built over the last decade. I took a bit of flak, but no one even remembers the conversation now.
People want to share your limelight. Sometimes they’ll invite you to box just so they can say they touched you. But as my grandfather used to tell me, “You don’t wrestle with a pig, because you’ll just get dirty and the pig will like it.” In other words, they don’t really deserve your attention. The best way to kill an argument is to starve it.
(kidding! I always wanted to do that. But there are no mic drops on Facebook. Someone always picks the damn thing up and says, “My turn…”)