One objection I had heard from business-owners or CEOs about participating in social media was, what if someone writes bad things about us?
If they would write bad things about you… they probably are anyway.
You don’t own social media. A disgruntled ex-employee, an unhappy customer, is likely to be venting on Facebook and Twitter anyway.
If you’re also on social media, at least you get a chance to present your side of the story. As I say in my guest post on the Entrepreneur in Heels blog:
This is actually one of the most important reasons you need to have a strong online and social media presence. If a dissatisfied customer is blogging about you, or a terminated employee starts a malicious Facebook page, anyone can find them by searching for your brand. And if you don’t have a strong online presence, these links are likely to show up high on the search engine results page.
At one place I worked, a disgruntled former employee had started a malicious Facebook page to complain about the company — no specific details we could counter, just vague rants. Then we built our own official page, and nurtured it. Even though the page had been aimed at customers, most employees (and then ex-employees, and aspiring employees) joined the page. We shared photos of employee events and people were happy to tag themselves and their friends.
The other Facebook page just died away, and was buried under the mass of positive mentions we were getting.
Even better, start building your social media presence now, before you need it. It takes time to make yourself visible: put in the time now and be in a better position to deal with public criticism, warranted or otherwise.
Read my post on the Entrepreneur in Heels blog for more tips on how to manage unfavorable online reviews.