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Another week, another damaging social media post….

Do you ever get that feeling of déjà vu?
I certainly did this week when I read that another business’ attempts to bat off negative publicity following a post on its social media site had spectacularly backfired!
The business this time was 47 King Street West in Manchester city centre. 47 King Street is a restaurant at which a bride to be and her posse had attended for the traditional hen night gathering.
The party then complained about the poor service they had received on the restaurant’s FB page. Rather than take the negative and turn it into a positive, the restaurant’s response was to call the bride and her group “chav, cheap trash” “ugly” “bottom of the barrel.” They also expressed “we pity the groom.”
A link to a version of the story can be found at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2977123/They-wouldn-t-know-fine-dining-slapped-ugly-faces-Bride-stunned-restaurant-s-angry-response-online-review-describing-hen-party-chavs-peasants.html
I understand that the Restaurant has dealt with this internally bu

t to me, that’s like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted – the story’s out there. The damage has been done.
Facebook has been with us for over ten years now – and there’s no sign of it disappearing anytime soon. There’s also no sign of people thinking before they post. They post and then think “oh maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”
Businesses need to remember Facebook and other social networking sites are their online shop windows. People can tap into your trusted network and without even speaking with you or meeting you they can make an instant decision on whether or not they want to do business with you.
To make these sites work for you, you need to be selling what’s best about your business, not advertising the worst! Remember you want to enhance your business reputation, not ruin it in a heat of the moment tit for tat argument that the online world can see. (Take note 47 King Street West!)
I regularly do talks to employers on the importance of having a social media policy in place. In those talks I focus on what employers should and should not do when it comes to social media so if you have a social media site and you want it to enhance rather than ruin your business reputation then make sure that you have a robust social media policy in place.
If you would like to discuss protecting your online business reputation then please contact me at jks@businesslaw.co.uk.

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