How Social Media Can Destroy Your Business
Negative reviews come in many shapes and sizes, but some business’ average star ratings have suffered greatly from their employee’s more divisive viewpoints being shared on social media, leading in some cases to businesses having to close down. Here, contributor Jason Brown explores what’s at stake and what you can do to avoid or minimize the damage.
We have long been told that we need social media to help promote our businesses. Social media is meant to allow our customers a way to communicate with businesses and for businesses to share their valuable information.
However, the current political situation in the United States has placed added pressure on businesses. If a business is going to weigh in on any of the current political debates, they need to know that it is going to anger the opposite side.
While we’re aware of The Red Hen’s decision to ask Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave their restaurant and the fallout from that decision, the same thing is happening when businesses and employees post their opinions on social media. Reefpoint Brew House in Racine, WI threw themselves into the NFL kneeling debate when co-owner John Valko posted on the business’s Facebook page to “Kill the idiot players referring to the NFL players kneeling protest” in September 2017.
The post went viral and made the news. Angry and upset people started expressing their opinions disguised as negative reviews. People that supported the Facebook post also left positive reviews.
Yelp and Google ended up removing the reviews, and currently, Reefpoint Brew House’s Google My Business listing has eight negative reviews referencing the social media post. The most recent review was left 5 months ago.Not all these social posts go viral I’ve seen several requests for help on the Google My Business forum from a business that received negative reviews due to social media posts made on employee’s personal pages. The posts cover either political or religious viewpoints.
While the posts were made by employees, the business still got caught in the crossfire and received a slew of negative reviews over the incidents. In the latest case, the business owner posted for help getting positive reviews to combat the negative reviews.
One of his biggest issues was that potential customers might not have known about the post that caused the backlash. They might have seen the low star rating and immediately passed on his business and gone with a competitor.So you need to think about the long game and not the short game. Businesses that go viral for the wrong reasons continue to receive negative review attacks long after the incident.
Amy’s Baking Company (a masterclass on how not to behave on social media) still gets negative reviews to this day. Amy’s Baking Company went viral on May 11th, 2013 for how poorly they responded to complaints about them stealing the waitstaff’s tips. They closed their doors for good in September 2015.