Stop the negative

Do you follow Twitter, LinkedIn or some other social media service to stay informed? Are you sick of the vendor bashing?

Like many of you, I have been doing what I do now for many years.
Similarly, like most of you – I need to keep up with what is happening in my chosen profession. For me that is the world of technical storage.

I am a storage and data management professional, so I need to keep up with all of my competitors information, and any new products and services on the market that relate to what I do.

So I would assume most people reading this would do a similar thing – given the amount of people that refer to LinkedIn or Twitter, I would say thats an accurate assumption.

Let me ask you a couple of questions…….
What would you do if you went looking for a new house and saw the estate agents sign out front, with another agents sign tacked underneath saying that the first agent had just made up everything and to so go talk to them?
What would you think?

How about if wanted a new car and in the yard that you are looking another car yards sign was stuck to the window of the car you were interested in saying that the first car yard doesn’t know what they are talking about and its all lies – come see me and I will sell you a similar car?
What would you think?

That is what is happening all over social media these days and it is making us as vendors look like children.

I admit to a bit of social engineering on some occasions.
Even recently, a friend of mine that works for a competitor posted an article from a third party research firm. I posted a comment on his post that referenced my company talking to the author of that article. Thats fair and reasonable, right?
At no point did I detract from his comments, I even agreed with them in a later comment – but I injected a positive article from my company on his post so his followers would see and hopefully read it.

Thats fair right?

What I think is not fair is when other vendors go off on a rant claiming your information is false, misleading or wrong. Its the equivalent of a child’s tantrum.
I could share countless articles like this, but I wont.
Some people would probably comment on this saying it was the company I now work for, going hard against its biggest competitor that started this landslide of negativity. They might be right as I am not sure when it got as bad as it has.
What I do know is that where I work from the top down – they are saying don’t go negative on social media. I understand other vendors are doing the same.

I just don’t believe everyone else is subscribing to the same ideals.

In my world we all have competitive intelligence, but the reality is this is often outdated or inaccurate so needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
In a previous role, I was part of the competitive community, so I know how difficult it is to keep up and maintain accurate competitive information – and that most of it is in the interpretation of the writer.

Going negative on social media is bad and it needs to stop!
If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say it.
In the context of what we are talking about, that would be doing as I did above, reference an article of your own if its positive, or maybe highlighting something that your product does better without saying that the competitive product is bad.

Write your own article that accentuates your product over your perceived weakness of the competitions – educate!
Be passionate, market yourself or your company better.

At the end of the day, people move, change jobs, but companies stick around and some folks have long memories so stay classy and promote you, and your own company.

My suggestion, if you see this happening – call it out, let them know what you think. If we don’t stop it then people will simply stop educating themselves and we all lose!

Stop the negative!