Hey Amanda,

I’m completely floored. I just found out that someone who works in the same industry as I do was trashing me on social media. They didn’t use my name, but the situation mentioned was too similar to be coincidental. How do I handle this?

Signed,

Social Media Side-Swiped

Dear Side-Swiped,

I hate it when that happens. It’s always so uncomfortable to know that you are being blasted on social media. However, let’s at least give Regina(ld) George some credit for not naming you publicly.

Unfortunately, with the megaphone that is social media, this happens sometimes. However, what’s most important is how you handle the aftermath.

First Things First: Slow Your Roll

Once you find out your business has been flung onto the world wide web, your first reaction might be to, well, react.

Stop. What. You. Are. Doing. Step away from all devices. Do not respond…right now.

Just like when you’re handling bad reviews as a business owner, it’s important to take a step back and not blow up right back. Take a breath, walk away for a bit, and, whatever you do, don’t react immediately.

Right, Wrong, Or Indifferent

No one likes information about them spread around social media quicker than Nutella on a warm croissant (what? I’m hungry). Especially without their consent.

It’s hurtful, embarrassing, and could cause damage to your professional reputation. However, a vengeful reaction could cause even more irreparable harm to you. At this point, you would only be hurting yourself more.

So, whether the other party is right, wrong, or indifferent, the only thing you’re in control over at this point is your own actions. Take a little time to call down, reflect, and figure out a plan.

So…What Can I Do?

There’s no easy answer. It’s genuinely dependent on your situation. However, like I said above, the only wrong answer is going ballistic on social media. Once it’s out there, it lasts foreva-eva.

  1. Take The Humorous Approach – I absolutely love Wendy’s Twitter account. They apply a “roast” style humor to naysayers and fans alike. It’s funny and, if you’re genuinely not that bothered by what happened, it might be a good way to diffuse the situation. It shows that you’re not hurt, but you’re also not going to be a doormat for social media abuse.
    • Note: If you take this approach, you have to be witty. I do not have this skill when I’m caught off-guard. Don’t let my clever writing style fool you…I have to seriously think about this stuff.
  2. Take The Direct Approach – You can always privately contact the person. Say something along the lines of,  “I saw your [insert social media platform here] post. I didn’t appreciate that you did that to me, and I would hope that you would have the professional courtesy to remove it.”
    • Note: This takes guts to pull off ,and you have to be prepared for the possibility of a confrontation.
  3. The Serious Approach – If this person’s accusations or commentary has caused you to lose business, you can and possibly should consider your legal options. Contact your business attorney or a representative of a professional organization in which you may have a membership. There may be grounds for legal or disciplinary action.
    • Note: This action can be costly financially and professionally. Consult your attorney. because while I am great at advice, I don’t know jack about the trappings of legal stuff.
  4. No Approach – Simply put, you can ignore it.
    • Note: It doesn’t necessarily give you the vindication you may want, but it does help you maintain a classy, professional manner your customers appreciate.

If it’s something that is genuinely ruining your business, you need to address it. Otherwise, opt to take the high road. Additionally, choose to focus on your digital marketing game with SDB to dominate them where it counts…by becoming an industry leader.

Best,

Amanda

About the Author:

Amanda's brain for business and love of words combine to make her an ideal fit as a Content Strategist for SDB Creative Group. She enjoys collaborating with clients and coworkers alike to create the perfect combination of information and fun. Amanda is the mama to three adorable fur babies and an "Ammay" to multiple nephews and nieces. In her spare time, she's a world traveler, a culinary adventurer, and always has her nose in a book.

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