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Make 2013 Your Year for Online Diplomacy
By: Christine Geraci
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Last week, we talked about resolving to be more positive in our online interactions. And today, with so many outlets reviewing 2012's top social media blunders, we thought it fitting to focus on another quality to strive for: Diplomacy.

We all have our moments. Whether it's a friend posting a political rant you completely disagree with, or a customer posting a completely unwarranted bad review of your business, the urge to slap back is tough to ignore. No matter whether the offender deserves it or not: If you do decide to lash out, the consequences could be dire. 

When we talk about social media diplomacy, we don't mean rolling over and apologizing for things you didn't do. Being diplomatic online means rising above the offending post or comment, and setting an example for others. How do you do that?

Offer to take the conversation offline. What might have happened if instead of posting highly offensive and controversial retorts to a bad Facebook review, Chef Marc Orfaly had simply stopped at offering his number to discuss the matter in private? Then, it would have been up to customer Sandy Tremblay to further explain herself. 

Talk to people when nothing bad is being said about you. Don't just show up to defend yourself. Engage other people in conversation. Make the first move in peace time.

Take the time to listen. Really pay attention to what's being said not just about you, but your competitors, your industry, your craft. Then be very thoughtful about how you can contribute productively to that conversation. 

Could you stand to be a little more diplomatic online in 2013?

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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