Hate is a strong word. My grandmother, Etolia Saringer, taught me to never use it unless I really, really, really detested something. Otherwise, I was told to say, “I don’t care for” it.
Nevertheless, it’s never been so easy to voice your opinion in a public forum due to the rise of social communities, social media and social networking tools. Just Google or Twitter Search the phrase “I hate.” Because of that, there’s a lot of hate out there. And it’s fascinating to me how people deal with the hate. And I’m talking about brands and personal brands alike. Do they immediately lash out the haters? Do they ignore them? Do they try to remedy the situation? It’s fascinating to see if people practice what they preach.
But I digress.
Haters are interesting people. Because the thing about your haters is that THEY CARE ABOUT YOU. Enough to expose themselves and voice their opinion. Enough to sit down and take the time to hammer out a blog post. Or spread the word via Twitter and WOM. Haters want you to reach out to them. (Because sometimes your haters are the jealous ones out there.) Haters want you to listen. Yes, listening and acting is even better, but sometimes listening and explaining is enough.
Nobody hates for no reason. It’s because of a bad experience. Or they feel cheated. Or you didn’t meet their expectations. Or they’re jealous. Or any number of things – but there’s always a reason. Maybe you’re number one in your category. Or maybe you’re the little guy that all the big boys are worried about. (But we love that kind of hate, don’t we?!?)
So love your haters. Embrace them. Seek them out and sit down with them. Because if you don’t have any haters, something is very, very wrong. It means that you probably aren’t doing your job to push your company and your customers to be better and expect more. If you don’t have any haters then that means that you have nobody that cares deeply about what you are doing.
And as you’ve probably heard on this blog before, you have a huge opportunity to turn those haters into lovers. And they can become the biggest advocates you’ve ever had.
Remember, as it is often heard in the Brains on Firesphere, “the haters make the lovers love you even more.”