When it comes to social media, it’s easy to spot a comment or status that will make you say, “I can’t believe they said that for the world to see.” What can make it worse: when you notice it’s a professional company that has made the remark. It can be difficult seeing something like that and not judging, especially if the post has been removed. However, even after its removal, screenshots and more could exist and return to hurt a business later. An example of this occurred in a closed Facebook Group (related to real estate) – a man created a negative post about real estate agents and then deleted it. Someone in this closed group took a screenshot of what he had said and posted it to their company website.
Even if something is deleted online, there could still be lingering evidence. Now, with social media, these errors can be broadcast to a wider audience in a matter of seconds. It’s become common practice to warn your kids of these pitfalls, but all of us need to be more conscious of what we should and should not to do on our social media pages. You can see how easily it can spiral into a PR nightmare – Closed groups are only as closed as the individual members want them to be. Words matter, especially when they’re available for all to see.
Here are several examples of common social media mistakes and a helpful list of what NOT to do:
A customer has negatively reviewed your company on your public profile such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google reviews, etc. Word of mouth and online reviews are how many people judge businesses.
- Do not let it impact you emotionally. You should remain professional, courteous, and even-tempered. The review should be dealt with in a calm manner.
- Do not ignore the message. When the message is left without response, it demonstrates that your company does not mind or care about the reputation.
- Do not reply angrily. You should address their concerns, thank them for their review, and form a plan so that this never happens again.
Carefully review all content on your page that is not directly related to your profession. As an appraiser, your personal name is typically the same name used on your social media pages.
- Do not share polarizing or offensive topics. A good rule of thumb for content is to remember the first date rule: “Stay away from religion and politics.” Something you may see as harmless could be offensive to another.
- Do not follow companies, people, or hashtags that could be deemed as polarizing or offensive. Seeing only these things as your interests can influence your clienteles view of you.
You see a post and feel you have something to add.
- Do not add something unless it’s beneficial. Treat this as a great opportunity to support and teach your fellow appraiser. Be thoughtful in your responses and be a mentor. Everyone likes a post that gets to the core of the problem with a valid solution. The ability to crowd source knowledge from a valuable brain trust is the reason many join groups of similar interests.
- Do not add anything negative. When responding to a social media comment or question, try to be positive in your response. Quick, one-word answers like “stupid,” or “idiot,” are not productive. People reach out to get answers, not to be insulted. Insults discourage others from posting questions in the future because they don’t want to suffer the onslaught of negativity they’ve seen others endure.
Navigating through social media today is a common pastime. You’re sitting at an appointment waiting for someone to let you in or you’re at your kids’ ballgame and take a few moments to browse social media. Don’t let your guard down. I recommend you wait to respond to inflammatory posts and truly think twice about how others view your profile. Delete is an option for a page you’re able to control, but it will not remove it from the minds of others or prevent them from forwarding it on without your knowledge.
We’re in a unique time. We hope these tips help you use social media to enhance, not hinder, your business. Have any comments or would you like to submit an article of your own? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.