Friday, September 18, 2009

Someone thinks your company sucks.

(Another reason your company needs a social media presence.)

Microsoft sucks. So does The Home Depot. Ditto Dell, Target and Dominos. And while it may not surprise you to hear that Wal-Mart sucks, you may not have heard that beloved brands like Apple, Ikea and Starbucks suck as well.

The fact is that despite you or your company’s best intentions, somebody out there thinks you suck. In fact, if you’re one of the companies listed above, there are multiple people that think you suck. And they’re not shy about telling people what they think.

I know this because I went to Google Blog Search and typed up every company name I could think of with the word “sucks“ after it. As you may have guessed, it’s just about impossible to find a company that someone somewhere doesn’t think sucks.

It’s something that my friend Bill Hanifin refers to as negative passion. While every company yearns for passionate fans and promoters of its brand, the flip side is there are people out there who don’t like your brand and won’t think twice about attacking it via a blog entry, or even an entire Web site.

Of course, after reading many “your company sucks“ postings, there are at least a few cases where the rants seem to have some merit. But there are even more examples where the attacks feel mean-spirited, or have little substance behind them, like one posting that says Wal-Mart sucks because “they don’t have big Pyrex measuring bowls“. Huh?

The net: Your need to pay attention to what people in the social media sphere are saying about you, your company or your brand. If there are legitimate issues or concerns, address them. If there are problems that can be solved, fix them. And if there is misinformation out there, by all means do all you can to counter it.

These days, if you’re not paying attention to what’s happening in the social media space, you’re not just standing still. You’re losing ground. There are people out there saying bad things about you, but there’s no easier way to neutralize them then to jump into the social media sandbox and beat them at their own game.

This post was previously published 9/7/09 on Loyalty Truth by Tom Rapsas. Tom can be reached at or on Twitter @tomrapsas.