Well, I've officially been cyber-bullied. I can't believe it either. I clearly need to get over it, but it has shook me to the core. Literally, I am in shock. What started off as an attempt to credit a business for a great tip got turned around on me by one vicious person who called me a spammer and encouraged others to get involved in the bashing. By the end of the conversation I was called a eunuch, a wannabe, and a peasant. Worst of all, this internet harassment came from a business account! Ultimately I was left in tears.
Now, I know I have to grow some thicker skin. All small business owners need thick skin. Because while the Internet is a beautiful place filled with so many wonderful people that help and boost each other. It is still a representation of society which unfortunately has mean people lurking. And the odds are if you are in business you are going to have to deal with people who leave negative reviews and say mean things about you online in a public format. I wrote about responding to negative reviews here.
Negative reviews, yes, we should be prepared for them. But what about when the bashing comes from the business side of things and not the customer side? That's another situation and as a business owner one you have to take care of because your online image and the person portraying you online can ruin you. You might not even know it's happening and your business could actually be a cyber-bully.
Basic Rules Of Internet Engagement
1. Treat People As You Would In Real Life
2. Give Respect And Expect Respect
3. Be Nice
How To Prevent Your Business From Being A Bully Online?
1. Code Of Ethics
Make sure you have a code of ethics and rules that must be followed by the person handling your social media accounts. This should include conduct and best practices. Being mean to someone online is never a good idea. It's not a good idea offline either.
2. Hire The Right People
Make sure the person you hire for the job is nice and professional. Of course people have mood swings but they should know that they are NOT to speak meanly or negatively about anyone online.
3. Review & Checkup
Have random and periodic checks on your social media accounts to make sure the image you are putting out there is the right one for your business. Take a page from a trucking company. And instead of asking how you are driving, ask how are we treating you.
Have you been cyber-bullied by a business?