We no longer choose a movie because two old guys put their thumbs up. We use Facebook, Twitter and other tools to gather different opinions before we decide. Social media has given us a voice. For the first time, we are able to critique everything and anything in real-time. In the matter of minutes one negative comment can be spread around the web to millions and millions of people.
As customers, We embrace this.
In fact, 92% of customers said reviews influenced their decision to purchase a product or service in the past. If anything, reviews are becoming a staple tactic in a solid marketing strategy. But where does criticism stand when the tables are turned?
Sure, as consumers we fully support the idea that brands should open their doors to criticism and ridicule.We even go so far to applaud those brands who actually respond to our criticism.
I often scan through the comments on several different blogs to find the basic ego-stroking comment.
Great post! I love everything you said and think that your point about engagement was right on! Not only were you right! You were perfect!
Excuse me as I gag myself.*
The blogger then replies with something along the lines of “Thanks, You rock!” And that’s the end of it.
What makes my heart skip a beat is when I find a comment, longer just as passionate as the actual post. This comment provides substance and when I’m lucky it plays devils advocate. As much as I love seeing (and giving) these comments. I rarely see the blogger respond.
The reason these bloggers don’t respond is because their either too busy (90 comments a post, ok i get it), taken back, or offended. A lot of bloggers are taken back because they don’t want anyone to disagree with what they have to say. They’d rather have nothing but positive feedback or a gag-me-now comment like the one above.
Sharing your opinions, ideas and thoughts are similar to a company opening their doors to reviews. We cherish our ideas the same way a company cherishes their products and services. In Hutch Carpenter‘s post Why Ideas Are Core to Enterprise 2.0, he discusses the relationship between someone and their own ideas.
Every time you have an idea, a bit of you bonds to it. Your way of thinking, your understanding of context, the experiences you’ve had, the expertise you bring to bear, the work aspirations you have.
That bond we have with an idea is what keeps bloggers hating the devils advocate comment. If you are so passionate about an idea, that you are willing to share it with the world its clear that a bond has been made. When a CEO stumbles across a website bashing her brand do you think she cares? Of course she does.
The same bond you have with an idea on twitter or a blog, a CEO has with their company or brand. The difference is that their encouraged to accept criticism, while we often ignore it. Why is it that when someone criticizing your ideas, you immediately label them as a troll? Do you respond to your comments? All of them, or just your friends? When was the last time you didn’t approve a comment? Did you reply to the guy who called you out on twitter?
Didn’t think so.