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.This 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.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.