At this point, it is likely you have heard about the recent Kitchen Nightmare episode in which Gordon Ramsay went to Amy’s Baking Company in Arizona. In response to the episode being aired, the owners hit social media in retaliation to reviewers and bloggers.
The incident has brought up a great time for business owners to review how they use social media.
Don’t Reply to Every Comment Online. This first item is hard for small business owners because most take anything said about their business very personal. When someone says something negative about your business it is hard not to want to defend your business. In some cases a negative comment can be followed up with a brief explanation or an apology by the business owner. If you decide to reply online, be careful and pick your words wisely. You don’t want to come off as arrogant or aggressive.
Don’t Reply In the Heat of the Moment. Giving yourself some time to think about the negative comment can really safe you from over reacting online. Once you reply, that comment will be there for everyone to see and remember. Yes, negative comments can hurt your feelings, but if you reply while angry or overly defensive, you are going to make things worse for business. Give yourself a night to sleep on it. You might just realize the comment doesn’t even need a reply.
Don’t Insult People. Even if the negative comment is truly unjustified or rude, don’t be tempted to be rude back. Things can quickly get out of control with a back and forth between yourself and the customer. Others looking at the initial rude comment made will be able to realize for themselves that it was rude and may just dismiss it. Yet, if you reply back with an insult, other customers will feel you are unable to control yourself thus giving the negative comment more credibility.
Finally, Never Lie. You will be called out on any lie you post online. If you made a mistake, own up to it. If you are caught in a lie your customer base will assume you are going to lie to them about your goods and services you are offering.
The moral of the story… use social media for your advantage. Don’t let it suck you into an out of control frenzy that has happened to Amy’s Bakery.