I have been on social media for close to ten years. The first 3 to 4 I was all over Twitter like a rash. Then Facebook started to appeal to me; Not to mention the many window shopping hours I continue to enjoy on Pinterest.
When I have a few spare minutes I am going to dive into Instagram.
I have made great friendships on social media; collaborated with people who I never would have met on projects such as writing and publishing children’s books; I have picked up many clients who found me before I found them; and I have enjoyed being challenged, learning new things, and having a laugh or ten.
What this means is that I am online all day every day so it comes as a surprise to me that there are people who are still not using social media. They may be there in a private capacity – only connected to family and friends. But they refuse to have their business ‘profiled’ or ‘public’
The rationale I hear from these folk is that someone might say something nasty about them; someone may complain about their business.
Well guess what? Someone may.
And that business owner won’t be there to defend themselves, or apologise, or explain, or refute or even just monitor feedback, which means the people who do see the post or tweet are left with a negative impression.
92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people – including strangers!
In all my years on social media no one has complained about my business. But it is quite feasible that it may happen in the future. No one is perfect. People have different expectations. And if there is a complaint my starting position will be to acknowledge it, appreciate it, and take the conversation offline or to private messaging.
But to have not had enjoyed the revenue, relationships and recommendations that come from putting yourself out there on social media in case someone says something negative is crazy.
The way to avoid people complaining about you in a public forum is to provide great service, and to be open and authentic. If you can’t do that....do you really have a sustainable business?
Consider that the consumer is not just part of the conversation but most of the time in charge of it. Most people are good and kind – and when the (in the minority) nasty one has a blast at you they are saying more about themselves: You will be judged by how you handle it. Plus, most people don’t want to risk a lawsuit by publicly putting your business down.
Staying off social media will not protect you from a complaint. But being on social media will open your world to revenue, relationships and recommendations.
Go for it! What you got to lose?