What do you do when someone posts/responds something negative or controversial about essential oils or aromatherapy?
I have seen this come up a number of times and I have to say that I disagree with ignoring it or deleting the post/comment and/or removing the person from the group.
I think the best thing that we can do is to address the issue and research a response to the situation. I will use my experience with the "OMG essential oils are killing your cats" hoopla from earlier this year.
I received numerous comments, posts to my personal Facebook profile and in groups and personal messages. I didn't know all the facts at first, so I decided to do some research, well actually a lot of research. And I thoroughly addressed the problem so that, when it comes up again, and you know it will, that I will be able to address the issue with FACTS. I responded to every post and comment and even wrote a series of blog posts about it, which continue to be the highest visited pages on my website.
I know its not always easy to respond to things like "essential oils suck" but to be honest unless they give a reason, it is hard to respond, but I would respond anyway with something to the extent of "I'm sorry that you feel that way, what happened to make you feel like that?" People like to feel like they are being heard.
I've worked professionally and personally in social media for over 10 years and one of the most common things businesses are afraid of is "What do I do if someone posts something negative?"
The worst thing you can do is ignore it or delete it. People will have negative things to say, but deleting comments you don't agree with can harm your business or brand. Also, it makes it look as if you either don't know the answer or can't be bothered to refute their claims. By all means, this should be thought about case by case and if someone is threatening harm or promoting hate speech - you may not only have to remove the comment, but sometimes report to Facebook or other social media platform.
I urge you to think about this. We all have immense resources at our fingertips and the expertise of many professionals with decades of experience to speak from on any given issue. I know when I have questions about something, I have my aromatherapy groups that I can talk to from my certification programs - and I always get responses even from the teachers as well as other colleagues. Sometimes, there is a wide array of opinions, but nonetheless, I find answers to everything that I am looking for.
My advice is to be patient with people who challenge you and also to know that sometimes you do in fact have to agree to disagree and walk away, but don't walk away before the conversation has even begun!
Owner, Restorative Aromatics and NAHA Certified Aromatherapist Level One. This blog focuses on aromatherapy education and other essential oil related topics.