Anger in social media – hate and love, no holds barred
Approximately a year ago, we made the decision to share Helka’s values in social media, as we had been praising Helka’s atmosphere amongst ourselves for a long while. In addition to Helka’s history bringing its own values to the table, the people of Helka are also tolerant and socially aware individuals. Despite all this, these things were only known to our most loyal customers.
We felt that it was the right time to share Helka’s values in social media. The first round of feedback proved our suspicions: Helka’s values resonated with many. We were praised for our willingness to be different and to talk about important issues. The feedback showed that people value the fact that they get to know who Helka is and what Helka thinks.
Of course, not all feedback was praise for our courage. From the start, we knew some people were going to be annoyed by our openness. We decided to always take all criticism as is, and to respond to it normally. We have moderated only the most inappropriate messages.
Although we knew why we’d decided to open our mouths, the inappropriate comments occasionally got to us, and many of us felt the need to get provoked by them. The anger we received would have been well deserved if we would had purposefully insulted someone, or offered bad service. However, responding to hate with hate is futile, and that is why we try to talk to anyone who has something to tell us.
Despite the angry messages, for every negative message we received, we also received at least ten positive ones. We are sure that we have lost many customers after we started our value discussions, but we have also noticed that the friends of Helka have become more diverse and tight-knit.
It’s amazing, but after we revealed what Helka is, it has been more fun to come to work. Openness has increased the feeling of safety that I have always felt at Helka” says Helka’s CEO Jukka Räisänen.
The current year has taught us a lot about Finnish people. In business, we think too much about how a single bad experience can outweigh one good experience. We think that that is false in our age of heterogeneous social media. People are intelligent, and they understand that different opinions create different reactions in people. People also want to create relationships to companies that they support. Nielsen stated in 2014 that people are globally more willing to use the services of companies that they feel share the same values as themselves. So as other companies are amazed that we are talking about homosexuality, immigration or equal salaries, we are amazed that they are being silent.
Some of you might be wondering, what would we do differently if we could go back with the information that we now have? Nothing. In fact, we would do it all again with even more confidence.
People of Helka