How to Make a Point Online

by Emily - February 12, 2015

One of life’s greatest balancing acts is stating how you really feel without getting people’s backs up. As a rule, we encourage our clients to be as open as they dare and to assign their own views and personality to their content. 

Whether you’re ranting on your personal Twitter account, dealing with a customer complaint or taking issue with something that effects your business, there are simple ways of making a point without making an enemy;

1. Be nice. This is the single simplest thing you can do but one which people forget when they’re passionate about their opinions. Being mean devalues your argument, however valid it is.

2. Value opposing views. The words; “That’s a fair point, but…” can dissolve the chances of debate descending into chaos incredibly well. Acknowledge other views, even if you stick rigidly to your own.

3. Remember that nobody ever changed their opinion straight away. Provide strong, reasoned arguments but don’t expect the other person to change their views.

4. Back up your arguments with evidence. You won’t change the minds of your opponents but remember that lots of people who are currently on the fence may be watching.

5. Beware of other people wading in; they may have ulterior motives which don’t align to you or your brand. An internet debate is very often derailed by people with an axe to grind and it is vital to remain in control.

6. Remember rule 1 of internet discussions; if you wouldn’t say it to somebody’s face, don’t say it online. This is especially true when communicating on behalf of your company as one mis-step (and here are some amusing examples) can destroy your company’s reputation.

7. Step away if things get heated. It’s important to distance yourself from anything potentially damaging. Internet discussions can get out of control in the blink of an eye and you mustn’t let the trolls take control.

8. When dealing with a complaint, respond publically. Brands constantly requesting that a customer contact them offline only makes them look shady. For a really great example of how to deal with it, have a look at the Twitter feed for @VirginMedia. Constant complaints, dealt with efficiently and in a friendly way. You might have slow broadband, but you feel like they care. Oh, and their customers recommend them because of how they act online, just like I am doing right now.

9. Remember point 1. Print it out in a huge font and glue it to your monitor.