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Loose Lips – How Facebook Rants Can Ruin Businesses

by Guest Author

Facebook RantsSetting up a new business can be extremely hard especially if you’re doing it the ‘old fashioned way’, using your own money and/or bank loans. So you wouldn’t want to do anything that might jeopardize your business, would you? And yet, this is exactly what thousands of Americans do every year, even some big companies and they all do it via misuse of their social networking accounts.

Think Twice Before Posting Offensive Comments

We’ve all heard of people being fired because they complained about their employers on social networking accounts like Facebook or twitter. A fugitive even went to jail after teasing the police online and, while a lot of big companies made the news after going forward with poorly thought out media campaigns or after employees misused social media accounts, even small businesses and independent professionals can get in trouble after Facebook rants.

A Missouri doctor is now in quite a bit of trouble after publicly complaining about one of her patients being constantly late to appointments. The post went viral and attracted a lot of criticism and quite a few of calls for her resignation. And this is a recurring theme of late, especially as Facebook and Twitter become major public forums.

Twitter

A scandal like the above can cripple a small business, especially one that relies a lot on maintaining a steady presence online. Small businesses cannot always afford Social Media or SEO Agencies handling their on-line promotion so are often left to rely on all-important social networking for their on-line presence.

That presence can mean the difference between success and failure for most businesses and independent contractors. A Facebook rant or even a scalding bad review going viral can lead, in this interconnected world, to bad ratings on local search pages, business partners disavowing you and quite likely, insolvency.

The Next Time You Rant

RantBut let’s face it: if you gat your clients online you are likely to be quite careful with what you say. But what if you don’t? Even if you are an ‘old school’ business that relies more on word of mouth and traditional advertising, you still more than likely need a social network presence and you need to be extra careful.

People who aren’t used to just how open and transparent the internet can be are those most prone to a Facebook faux-pas as was the case of the aforementioned doctor who thought her personal Facebook page could double as a soapbox with no consequences.

Nonetheless, just as social media has its scare stories it has its great stories of success as well. Last month, an Atlanta security guard who filmed his everyday struggle with drug dealers and troublemakers in a downtown mall (including a controversial instance of him tazering a violent mom in front of her unruly children) experienced the flipside to this. After his videos went viral donors sent over 23000$ to the man in donations!

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Author Connect »

1 Evan

Exactly, there should be a rap for what the one writes in his/her Twitter/Facebook. Otherwise we will all soon become food for fishes because of each other blames and scandals! That’s a very educational post, thanks. We have to watch our tweets!

2 Nishadha

The ability to go viral is what makes social media an effective tool for small businesses. But as examples have shown , mistakes go viral more easily than good promotional efforts. In fact there are now apps that monitor what you type and warn you if it can be harmful for your or your business.

3 Tony Nguyen

Hj, being controversial can draw attention to your comment, but as in headlining, we must be careful not to be controversial just for the sake of it. If we have a reason to disagree with the ideas in a post, we can commend the writer and politely disagree.
Developing the habit of always disagreeing can be risky as it trivializes someone’s hard work and can estrange us from the writer.
Thanks for this useful post.

4 Nikki

It’s just like almost every mother in history always said, “If you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Simple and plain. Not only does it put you at risk of losing customers or financial support, it’s annoying. No one cares to see your complaining. Social media is about entertainment and sharing. Not online pouting.

Keep a diary if you need to get something off of your chest.

5 myles

ohh yes being informal beyond the limit can get your relations with your client in trouble. But also if you do it properly , it can also strengthen the bonds too. ;) Works for me sometimes.

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