How should you react? Do alarm bells start ringing? Do you delete their comments?
This can be a difficult situation, so here’s my take:
Depending on the moment in the engagement cycle, you may be worried that they are stepping on your toes?
I’d consider these points:
So, the answer is, it depends…
May I just add here that I love to Connect and engage with my so-called “competitors”. I enjoy asking them questions, discovering their thoughts and approaches. In fact, I regularly share their opinions on my blog.
Why? Because I learn so much from them. I thank them for their contributions. I am lucky to work in a very socially collaborative environment. But I really do appreciate this is not the same in all industry sectors.
I’d weigh up these points and make a decision based on your gut feeling.
For Becky owner of People Buy People, it was about context and, on the whole, she didn’t see the harm in some competitors commenting on her posts:
“It depends. I’ve collaborated with many competitors and passed work onto one another so can be a positive.”
Likewise, Keith Rozelle Director of Sales Marvel imparted a great example of embracing competitors:
“I recall #techwars in the City of London – late ‘90s.
“Cisco Systems would allow competition to their product launches whereas Bay Networks would not.
“Only 1 of them is still around…”
However, Perrin of Roth Read Photography had a worst-case scenario story to share:
“I had a connection who, under my post, raved about another photographer she had just had a headshot session with … and included his contact details. He then replied to her post thanking her for the wonderful feedback.😳😅”
In the situation above, where a competitor directly tries to do what LinkedIn Coach Bruce Johnston terms “Link & Hijack” and take people away from the discussion in the comments by linking to something of their own, I would delete the offending competitor from my Connections list. Contributing something valuable to the discussion is one thing, promoting themselves on my thread is another thing entirely!
Communications Speaker and TV Presenter Alastair Greener summed up the argument nicely with:
“I think as long as you keep projecting yourself as the thought leader in your sector you’ll come out on top.”
Has this post about what to do when competitors comment on your posts changed your mind about how you’d approach it at all? I’d love to know your thought on LinkedIn…
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