Wal-Mart

Standing Up to Internet Criticism

Criticism on social media is as easy as pushing a button, making it even more important for organizations to engage and be engaged online.Criticism on social media can be cutting and inaccurate. The remedy is dispassionate and transparent engagement to state your facts and tell your story.

Some business and nonprofit executives prefer to remain aloof from social media. However, all that accomplishes is to allow the conversation to continue without the benefit of your views.

It is true that a post on a business Facebook page can serve as an invitation for a critic to lash out. However, the value of being involved online is to address the criticism, pointing out inaccuracies or adding a different perspective. Most of all, it shows you respect people enough, even when they are critical, to give them a genuine response.

Get beyond the knee-jerk perception that your detractors are adversaries. Yes, some people want to spread misinformation. They are not always patient or polite, but they are engaged enough to connect and be converted from detractor into supporter or advocate.

Responding in social media isn't the only avenue for recourse.

Galena Biopharma, a Lake Oswego-based company researching a cure to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer, is combating an online investment firm blog questioning Galena's management decisions and its claims.