By Nancy E. Hassel, American Pet Professionals Are your personal social media comments ruining your business? We have all heard it before, be careful what you post – mostly for people looking for jobs, high school and college grads, your social media is not as private as you think and so forth. Yet I see many pet professionals either bashing someone on social media, putting their personal views out there so much – they are bound to offend potential customers, business colleagues or worse ruin their reputations. I am not talking about being politically correct all the time, or stifling your views on a certain topic - but think about it first – remember the saying, ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ Or maybe when you would have never said some of the things you now say online outside of your living room prior to social media taking over? Or in person – it’s safe from behind your keyboard, right - not so much if you’re trying to build a business, a good reputation, and be respected. In the pet world we are very passionate about our pets, what we should feed them, what products to use, training methods, vaccine protocols so on and so forth. And that is a good thing – that we are passionate about our pets that is. But have your ever watched a simple question or shared post erupt into a full on brawl in the comment sections? People suddenly hate each other or now think less of someone because of their comments. It is really ridiculous when you think about it. We are living a super hyper-sensitive world folks. (What pisses me off? Don’t say anything negative about my dog or his breed! Lol that’s about it!) Think about how quickly companies drop their sponsorships of celebrities or sports figures because of an offensive Instagram or Twitter post? Could your comments ruin a new business partnership or potential customer? You betcha! So my pet professionals – here’s some food for thought, some kibble if you will. The next time you see something someone posts that you whole-heartedly disagree with – THINK before you post your comment.
- Take a step back and don’t comment right away.
- Is your comment really necessary?
- Will your comment piss off potential customers, donors, adopters?
- If you do comment – BE KIND. Be respectful of the other person’s opinion – you never know where that person is coming from, how much experience they have, etc.
- And remember, often the context in a comment (or email) comes across in a very different way than if you were just having a conversation with that person face-to-face.
- Be careful not to be libelous about someone either on social media – that can land you in hot water – and I am not talking about a hot tub!
- Listen to your gut. If you have a nagging feeling that you should not comment – DON’T! Simple as that!