Social Media and how it can damage your business.

john gerding

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Sometimes I wish I had never posted on TMF back in the day, simply because I did not think about the permanent status of comments I made here... But that is a lost cause... I got to thinking though about things that happened to me on facebook, when My big mouth gets to running and how it nearly crushed my business one day... It was in the early days of my business and I was still posting in buy sell and trade groups on facebook trying to get business. I was in one of those groups and a person posted asking about adopting a puppy and saying they lived in a 1 bedroom apartment, the carpet cleaner in me came out and I proceeded to interject my opinion that she should not get a dog because of the damage they do to homes. We all know how an untrained dog left to it's own devices can and will cause untold amounts of damage in a home and I simply explained to this person the things I see happening in dog owners homes.... Well that was a big mistake because I am here to tell you Dog Lovers are a special kind of obsessed with their fleabags... Suddenly a bunch of people started chiming in saying I was a Dog Hater and calling me names ect ect, a few minutes goes by as I am reading the comments and one of these people had shifted through my profile and found a picture of my company logo, then posted it and about 10 of these Dog Nuts ganged up and went to my business page and left me 1 star reviews....

And just like that I was fudgeed... My page was still young and the damage it would have done to my reputation would have been very bad... I begged and pleaded with these people and finally one by one they removed their reviews... It was a close call... too close... From that day forward I set my profile to as private as you can get on facebook and I went through my entire news feed and removed every single shred of my company name so that I could not be attacked again by rabid facebook flash mobs... Now I see a bunch of young guys on facebook and their entire profile is made to share their company name, they have their business name listed, where it is located, the phone number, ect ect... And their profiles are not set to private at all... And I keep thinking maybe I should warn them... Your Social Media Profile is for Private Interaction with friends, family and strangers... It's the strangers you should be concerned about... If you say something that somebody does not like and they can just look at your profile and find ways to damage your company you're setting yourself up for a bad time... Your Profile is not for Business it is for Personal.. Thats why you have a Business Page that is completely shut off from your profile and no one knows who the man behind the page is unless you have worked for them...

Now you are saying "Yeah Gerding but Im not an Asshole like you so I got nothing to worry about" Well that is incorrect, let me tell you why.... I am a Group Admin on Facebook I admin 4 groups and a 5th group on MEWE... I have been doing so for 4 years, and I can tell you from experience that facebook is full of hateful trolls who only login to cause havoc... Their Prime Directive is to start shit with people and screw with them in every way they possibly can, and if your profile is wide open for them to see, they will have enough fuel to do serious damage to your life... There are literal Troll Groups full of scumbags that love nothing more then ruining people... If they get your phone number you can expect prank calls or to be Swatted or worse...

If they get your business name I dont have to tell you that that would be very bad for your review status.... They work in teams, some of these groups have thousands of members... Thousands of lifeless bottom feeders that hate the world and wanna watch it burn... Make sure it isnt your world that they burn down... Just some advice from a guy that knows full well what kind of damage a flash mob can do to your business...
 
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john gerding

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Aug 1, 2012
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Deadpool
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United States
That is also why I originally left TMF... I had some random dude on here talking crazy shit, like he was gonna find me and beat my ass, leave me bad reviews and all that... I wasnt worried about him being a threat to me, but I was worried about what he could do to my company.... Just be careful out there in the Digital Zoo cuz it is full of animals.... The only people that I interact with on facebook now that actually know my company name are those that were members here when I was starting my business... But it all still could come back to bite me in the ass... I kind of just walked away from all carpet cleaner social media for a long while, I rarely even commented and never posted for a few years because there are so many tough guy cleaners out there that think they are gods gift to the world.... It hard to even express an opinion or try to explain something technical about cleaning to dudes that have egos the size of Texas.... Next thing you know they are talking shit to you and swinging their pecker over their shoulder...
 
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Scott W

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I agree one must what what they post in every context. Once on-line it is there forever. There are some things that I regret posting. I worry for others business if customers and potential customers become aware of the attitude displayed on-line.
 
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Mama Fen

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As someone who remembers Life Before Interwebz, I always try to be my most genuine self online so as not to be a surprise when people meet me in person.

I'd like to think that the members here who know me at ground level would say that the Fen you see here is the Fen you get in reality.

That's not to say that I haven't said things online that I regret - everyone is guilty of foot-in-mouth syndrome whether it's live or Memorex. Particularly when my ex and I split - I vented when I probably shouldn't have vented, and to people who probably didn't need to hear it. Once it was out, I couldn't take it back. I've become much more careful since then.

I'm normally a fan of keeping online interaction as civil as it would be in person - don't antagonize someone just because they're not able to reach out and punch you. There's no point in being aggressive, or trying to sound like anything other than plain ol' me, when I'm online... because eventually, as Shakespeare said, the truth will out.

Every one of us is putting on a public face when we post anything online, even if we mean it to be for "friends' eyes only". So if that online face doesn't match your real face, eventually it's going to bite you in the butt. Just be yourself, and you won't have to worry about being misinterpreted.

Or as Mark Twain said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."