February 7, 2011

Clogs and Stockinged Feet

My brother sent me the Welsh proverb “bad news goes about in clogs, good news in stockinged feet” or newyddion drwg yn mynd am yn clocsiau, newyddion da yn stocio traed in Welsh, in an e-mail today and I thought how apropos this is in our world of social media, digital news and reviews and certainly blogs.digital newsThis weekend, I had a horrible experience at a local restaurant, which we’ve always loved. It’s recently changed hands and the service, food and staff have really gone downhill. When I got home, I looked at the restaurant’s Facebook page, and discovered that we were not the only ones unhappy with our recent experience there.

What really surprised me was that the restaurant had not refuted any of the comments nor had they deleted them. It actually looked like they had set up the new FB page when they took over the restaurant, but have never checked it since. So, anyone looking for information on the place only saw very negative comments and no one defending the restaurant - not even the owners.this was actually EXCELLENT!In an age where image and brand are your currency, it is essential to keep control over the message that is getting out about you, your company and your name.

If you don’t do these few things already, you should try them:

  • Google yourself every few months. Use different iterations of your name. See what’s out there about you. See what other people have written. Check what information of yours is public knowledge. If you have a blog, check that, too.
  • Look for your name on Facebook. There was a recent story on Salon.com about a writer who wanted to start doing some PR for a new book and discovered a fake and offensive profile of herself. The profile had been up for about six months before she discovered it.

If a customer has a great experience, they will tell a handful of people. But if they have a bad experience, they will tell up to 40 people. When you add social media to the mix, the audience potential is impossible to calculate. Even more concerning is the fact that customers (or potential customers) are likely to trust their friends’ Facebook posts more so than any other third-party review.

Customer service is paramount if you own a business, large or small. I am sure the restaurant where we ate the other night will not be open in six months. But it will be their own fault.


  1. So true that people trust their pals over a third party. My husband regularly "fires" restaurants and we never go there again. We always tell freinds and family about the experience. Luckily we moved away, we were running out of places to eat out!

  2. Hi Meg. This is a very timely post. I'm finally getting on-board with the social media phenomena. I had never checked my Facebook page, or Googled myself and I have had a website for more than 8 years. The power of blogs, social media. etc is enormous. Wish me luck as I pull myself into the 21st century information/advertising age. (I'm even starting a blog--we'll see, I'm a little intimidated by all of my favorite bloggers). Mary

  3. Such good advice.
    Another bit would be to really be sure of what you put out there- on a post, a comment, on facebook, or twitter.
    I consider myself computer savvy and still I was surprised to see a post I had deleted due to writer's regret was still out there. Now I doubt most could find it, but i used certain keywords and there it was, out in cyberspace!

  4. That's good advice, and from the other side of the coin I have to say I'm glad for customer reviews on businesses and products. I've been saved a lot of money and frustration over the years because I always research customer reviews before buying. Some products and places look fantastic in their advertisements, but when you hear stories from people who have actually used and tried them, it's a much different story sometimes.

    Quite often B&Bs and hotels use old photos on their websites, taken when the place was brand new, even though they're dilapidated and run-down now. It's especially helpful when making travel plans to hear from people who have been there recently.

  5. Meg so true bad press wil really harm a business or person, and they should know about it.

    You would think a restaurant would do everything possible to make things right for the customer.

    Art by Karena

  6. Dearest Margaret,

    I must know, what is the name of this dubious establishment? I will have to steer clear of it in the future!

  7. I'm also wondering which restaurant that was!

    Preppy Player - that's such a good point about writer's regret! I'm also so glad that Facebook, etc. wasn't around when I was younger. I can't imagine what I might have posted in high school and college!

  8. Very good point about the writer who discovered a fake profile of herself. You mean to say people have nothing better to do than create fake profiles on the internet? Surely not!


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