February 21, 2016

Lauren Galli

How Negativity Can Damage Your Brand

brandWhen it comes to our personal social media accounts, we have several options for how we want to behave.  We can be the troll - always looking for a fight or we can be Suzie Sunshine - letting nothing get us down.  However, presentation counts and it's important to limit negativity especially on business accounts.

Typically, when you think of negativity, you think of the person who is constantly complaining or is just never having a good day.  However, in the business world, going over to the dark side can be any number of things, three of which I want to mention here.

Photos – If Joe, Sharon, and Tina are the faces of your business, make sure the three amigos have appropriate profile pictures on all of their social channels, especially LinkedIn. You don’t want Sharon and Joe to have a professional headshot, while Tina has a picture of herself drunkenly draped over one of her co-workers at the office Christmas party.  An image like this can damage your reputation.

Reviews – A negative review can be damaging enough, but it’s even worse if you ignore it because it looks like you don’t care. Show that you acknowledge the feedback and that you take measures to resolve the issue. Many realize that human beings can be ridiculously difficult to satisfy. It will speak louder that you tried. On the same token, if someone has something bad to say about your business, respond but refrain from getting into a mouth battle with them. Don’t take the bait. Remain calm, because chances are, they are just looking for a reaction.

Personal Profiles – Just because you act professional on business social media doesn’t mean you get a pass to do whatever you want on your personal profiles. In today’s world, your business brand is only as strong as your personal brand. While you may have more liberty to showcase your life on your personal social media, be aware that somebody is always watching – and everyone is a potential customer.

I’m not saying you need to be Pollyanna all the time. There’s value to keeping it real. Just keep your reputation in mind when posting online, because once it’s there, it never really disappears.

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