Common Sense and Social Media
Good afternoon all! Today we are going to talk about social media and common sense when you have a business. This may seem like a no brainer, but social media tends to unleash different beasts and often people do not have a very good filter.
WHOA Jessi. Where is this going? Are you tackling politics? Religion? Celebrity status? Nope. I am tackling how real people act in real life and how important it is to maintain a level of professionalism on any online platform, specifically Facebook. This does NOT mean pandering or hiding your true self, just so I am clear. It doesn’t mean going against your thoughts, beliefs, or drawing a line in the sand. Your true self is awesome and you should let your flag fly, especially if that self is a big part of your business. What I am addressing is something much simpler and in my opinion much more important.
So, I am a member of a local handmade group with 35k+ members. They have some fairly strict rules and the admins tend to play favorites. Within this group are quite a few sign makers, including a fairly questionable one; we shall call her Dee. Dee was shady and had several complaints lodged against her for not delivering on paid product, not producing quality products and even straight up stealing photos and claiming them as her own (HUGE no-no and another blog post altogether). I am not sure how she was still in the group, but she was.
A customer called her out in the group for no showing on her three times. I’m not a fan of public call outs, but I have found these are times when the artisan can shine or implode. The post was matter of fact and included screenshots of her talking to the customer. All I can say is WOW. She was rude, mean, hateful, and extremely unprofessional. I know makers get overwhelmed but this was so far beyond excusable. I clicked the Follow Notifications, partly because I was curious about how this was going to play out and partly because I am human and crave some drama that isn’t my own.
I give everyone the benefit of the doubt until the point they prove themselves one way or another. Well, with Dee, it only took about 3 seconds. She responded and spewed the most hateful attitude I have ever seen a seller give to anyone. The buyer remained calm and refrained from answering in kind. Needless to say, the drama went REALLY high and I added her to my Do Not Buy From List (seriously guys, I have a list and that sounds like another blog post too).
So, Dee was kicked from the group. Not a week later in another local group another buyer pops up asking if anyone has had any problems with Dee. I clicked the Follow Notifications again to see how things played. This post went into a bit more depth about the way Dee acted. For starters, the sign that the customer ordered had issues (it really did guys, BAD issues) and when the customer asked for a refund Dee got belligerent and hateful. What should have been a private conversation between buyer and seller escalated to a public platform because of the way the seller responded. Then, to top the proverbial unprofessional cake with a cherry, Dee had also screenshot their conversation and posted on her profile (publically) about the crazy customer she had. She then went on to fat shame and be even more hateful than imaginable. I cannot even use the language she used, but it was so way beyond what I consider acceptable and I like to cuss like a sailor in the Crazy House.
This drama continued a bit longer back and forth and the post was eventually deleted. I was taken aback by the sheer level of unprofessionalism, the hatefulness, and the childishness. Dee claimed she was being harassed and targeted but her responses spoke volumes. That is key, HER RESPONSES. She could have responded in a manner that made her professionalism and ethics shine. Rather, she chose the low, low road and slammed customers. She ostracized herself from several groups and lost many, many customers just by the way she acted. Not many people want to do business with someone who would so freely (and without common sense) post such things.
The main takeaway I’m offering is that once it is on social media, it exists, so use common sense and realize that your voice reflects on your business just like it reflects on you. Even if you delete it, it can still be there. In the age of information at our fingertips, a screenshot only takes a second to snap. Use some common sense and really think about what you are putting out there that represents your business, even if it is something as simple as a reply or frustration post. And for clarification, you are most definitely allowed to be frustrated, it is part of being a business owner. If you choose to do business on your personal profile, be sure to realize something you post CAN come back to bite you in the butt or even lose you customers, even if it is within a private group or a “safe area”. With so many polarizing topics of the world today, you will NOT be a fit for everyone and that is ok, it really is. If you are worried about not connecting with your target market, I would suggest getting in touch with someone who can help you. I would suggest Lara at Become More Coaching https://www.becomemoretoday.com/
Always remember to be genuine, be yourself, and most importantly, use common sense.