The Internet Hate Machine

Small businesses are often the victim of one angry person, a cell phone, and social media. We see it happen all the time. It’s sad, because often the business has no idea. These posts can fester, building as more people comment, until people you have never met hate you and your business.

There is a small photography company here that was ripped to pieces by an angry customer in a local Facebook group. It’s been going on for days with an endless comment stream. Last I checked, the photography company had no idea their company brand was being stomped on in the comment section of local group for people that live in the area they provide service.

If you run any business that deals with the public, you need reputation management. It is hard to find the time for anything, and keeping up with social media takes time.

It’s best to belong to all of the local social media groups in your area. It also helps to check all of the review sites for your company name. Periodically doing a search on your company name also helps find public discussions. Many large social media groups are private and their discussions are only accessible through the group. This means they will not appear in search results, so you have to check those groups by belonging to them.

What to do when your reputation is at risk?

Don’t panic, and do not do anything when you are angry. It is very easy to make the situation worse by saying something in anger. Also anything you write is public record, and you are legally responsible for anything you say. Imagine reading back your words to a judge before you post them. If there is a chance of a lawsuit, don’t say anything before contacting a lawyer.

Even if you feel the person is being completely unfair, or you think they are lying; being professional, respectful, and even nice goes a long way to making you look good.

Sometimes it’s all just a misunderstanding, and you might even be able to work things out. Just make sure that your resolution is reflected in your response.

You also do not want to ignore a bad review or comment. Unethical services pay for good reviews in an effort to bury the bad ones. This has resulted in consumer mistrust of good review, so the bad ones carry more weight.

Write your response in a calm and respectful way and remember that both these comments will be up years after everyone involved has forgotten about it. Old reviews still carry weight and can have a negative impact on your brand years later.

Brayson Management has affordable Reputation Management Services for your company’s internet presence that gives you peace of mind, responds to issues as they happen, and ensures you know what is being said about your business. We help protect your reputation by helping you monitor your digital brand and respond to issues, if they occur.

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