It’s a cold, hard fact of life: Haters gonna hate.
ExhibitA: Tim Tebow.
If you don’t follow football, Tim Tebow is the starting Quarterback for the Denver Broncos. As a college QB he helped Florida win two National Championships (first as a backup and later as a starter), and became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy (2007).
But what sets Tebow apart is not just his play on the field, but his actions and proclamations off the field. You see, Tebow is very outspoken about his Christian faith. Very outspoken. Now I don’t mean in a loud-mouthed sense, but he will speak out on what he believes. As a result he’s a magnet for both praise and criticism.
Lots of criticism.
If you watch any football or sports news at all you’ll see that Tebow has his detractors, to the point that many people want to see Tebow fail, both on and off the field.
You see, if you make proclamations, there are always those who want to see you fall. There are many who want to see Tebow slip and mess up in his personal life. And they also want to see him mess up on the field. Yet while his play hasn’t always been pretty or record-breaking, he has helped his team win. A lot. They’ve gone from a 1-4 cellar-dwelling team pre-Tebow, to an 8-5 first place team with him. And just this week Tebow brought the Broncos back from a 10-0 deficit with only 2:08 left in the game, to a 13-10 OT win.
But, haters gonna hate.
As you and your business become more social, you are going to become more vulnerable. You may use your website and social channels to make various proclamations. You might tout that you have the best products and services, or perhaps the lowest prices anywhere. You might talk about your awesome customer service.
Whatever it is, you need to remember a few things:
1. Haters gonna hate – They might not always be vocal, but you might have your detractors. And if you’re using Social Media, they have the opportunity to get right up in your face and tell you that they don’t like you. And the reason for their hating might even seem to defy rationality. For many, this is a reason to avoid Social Media, but nothing could be further from the truth. Haters will hate whether or not you’re on Facebook or Twitter. The difference? By being on Social Media you give them the chance to speak directly to you, but you also gain the chance to respond. Just be careful how you respond. Don’t get into an online war of words. You’ll never win.
2. Watch what you say – Be careful about the things you say and the claims you make. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make them, but be honest. Can you actually stand by the claims? If you promise to beat the prices of your competitors, are you sure you can follow through? When you offer propositions that you believe set you apart form the competition, make sure you can back them up. Always.
3. Bring your A-game – In the end, the best thing you can do is just go out there and play the game. Give it your all and do your best. If you back up your words with real actions, you might just silence your critics. In fact, you might even win some of them over. I’m sure there were a lot of folks in Denver who weren’t happy when Tebow took over as starting QB, but now that the team has been winning, I’d bet that his fan base is growing.
4. Be consistent on and off the field – Being involved in Social Media means that our personal lives are also in the spotlight. We may conduct our business one way, but if we turn people off with the way we live our lives, it might color the way they view us. Make sure your online and offline presences, both personal and professional, are consistent. People might not agree with you on things, but at least they can’t fault you for being two-faced and inconsistent. No matter what you think, Tim Tebow is a class act, and he lives it out no matter where he is. His consistency is refreshing.
How are you using Social Media to highlight what you do best, while at the same time silencing your critics? Are you conducting your business to the best of your abilities, both on and off-line?
- Tim Tebow: Hero? Role model? Overbearing evangelist? All of the above. (csmonitor.com)
- Small Business Tip Tuesday: Being Available vs. Being In Your Face (inklingmedia.net)
- Tim Tebow: Why We Wish He Was Dating Lindsey Vonn or Anybody Else (bleacherreport.com)