Cyberbullying is using the Internet or related technical apparatus to harass, harm or humiliate another person or business. It is deliberate, can be repeated and is hostile by nature. When other people weigh in on the conversation it can become extremely harmful and at times hateful. With the internet it can spread around the world in minutes, because of the viral capacity of social sites. What might start as a complaint can quickly turn into a life devastating occurrence and the repercussions of it are detrimental.
It is most unfortunate when what is perceived as poor customer service quickly turns into cyberbullying. It is almost like a gang style beating that leaves the recipient scared for life.
This is happening on social media everyday and as hard as it is to believe people can get this vicious or out of control, the people who it is happening to sometimes handle it poorly, or maybe they are so rattled by the experience that they make mistake after mistake. Quite simply they might not know how to deal with a situation like this.
If you ever have a customer complaint directly on your social networks such as your Facebook Business Page you might try the following activities.
1. Try to contact the person off the internet to handle the situation.
2. It is always best to apologize first for the unfortunate occurence, listen to the persons story with an open mind allowing them to vent their frustration or explain their side of the story. Just being heard is a huge healing process.
3. Even if you believe this is rubbish ~ “The Customer is always right”
4. You can agree to disagree
Now for the damage on your Facebook Page
1. Always apologize first in the comment section below their comment. Right or wrong your page is an open book of how it appears you handle your business practice.
2. You can remove people from your Facebook page by reporting them as Spam or Abusive directly on their comment, however this could begin an even bigger battle.
3. DO NOT fight openly on your page. One apology and that is enough.
4. Try not to engage any further in the discussion – Continue to post as you usually would do.
5. If they persist through other people – UNPUBLISH your page until the situation has been rectified. (from your admin panel click Edit Page, click update information, now choose the page just above called Manage Permissions – from here click unpublish – scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save Changes”
As adults we should know better than get involved in an already ugly situation, number one because it is not kind-hearted and number two you were not involved.
Cyberbullying can ruin a persons reputation and worse cause their business great pain in an already slow economy. People trust their friends on Facebook but what happens is one friend shares with one friend who sees it on another friends stream of conversation, they quickly add a comment without even knowing any facts…mean while a human being is being chastised or humiliated.
Think before you post or comment on a conversation that you know nothing about. This is someones livelihood. Worse yet what if English wasn’t their first language or if Facebook is brand new to them.
We all say things we shouldn’t or write comments that later we delete and how about all those drunk posts you’ve made yourself…. YIKES!!
I always tell my students “No matter what you post, if it ends up on the front page of The New York Times are you OK with it?”
Reputation Managment System
Make sure you are set up with “Google Alerts” both with your business name and your personal name.
ps: I am always very surprised to see the professionals in the social media business that help spread this type of unfortunate activity ~ come on people let’s play nicely together.
My name is Heather Clifford and I live in beautiful Nanaimo BC where I teach hands on social media. I travel through out this gorgeous province helping people to bridge the distance between technology and marketing on-line with social media. I am speaker, consultant and social media expert! Call me today for group training and one on one!!