Your website is your piece of real estate online. An open door to all.
Social media platforms have created more roads and highways for people to find you, and so you are far more visible, making you far more vulnerable and exposed, to all types of global traffic. Keep in mind most of that traffic finds you via Google or Bing or some other search engine too.
If we consider the giants for a moment – Telstra, Bonds, and Vegemite to name a few… if these companies ever step out of line with their public, the public soon let it be known to them (think major brand having to pull a product off a shelf because of public backlash). Therefore customer service is at a premium when online. The response from the public comes in via word of mouth, letters to the editor and more recently via these social media platforms (the community voice).
The power of this community voice is only just being realised and unleashed.
So, when this translates to a small business, what does it mean?
Well, it means the same can happen. In the same way. Even without the big player resources to respond or act. A small business may not have been the target of a letter to the editor previously, however they may have had their retail shop front vandalised, a window broken, a paint smattering because someone has taken offense and the law into their own hands or simply been the subject of malicious gossip (WOM).
The modern day graffiti is a combination of malicious gossip, comments via our facebook statuses (that only friends see sure…), talking (word of mouth is still the almighty powerful), to setting up facebook groups, blogging, etc etc etc.
So, be careful, if you are online in business. Remember you are vulnerable at all times.
Think about what your business is. Consider when setting up a Facebook group or page that you allow access as appropriate. Interaction is not just about the good… its the whole picture, good with the bad, honest with the not-so and you should be willing to respond and answer everything.
Otherwise – why do you have that wall open for business?