Sometimes I get comments to this blog or to my posts on the BAP Facebook page that are argumentative, negative, or just downright nasty. Here, I don’t approve them and they disappear into the ether. On the Facebook page, I generally delete them. This often results in more emails, comments, and complaints which all usually strike the same note: How dare you censor! This is about open dialogue!
Um, no it’s not.
Your blog, your business Facebook page, your LinkedIn and Twitter and every other social media tool you use are NOT first for the purpose of open dialogue. These tools’ first purpose is to promote your business. Everything else is secondary to that.
Oh, and this is why you should have two personas in the social media world: your business and your personal. Keep ’em separate so that you can rant about politics (for example) without offending the potential client who disagrees with your position.
You must control the message your business sends to the world. That is a first and basic rule of marketing. You must have a consistent brand message, even when you are talking about a video you liked on FB or whatever. Controlling your message includes controlling the responses to your message on any public forum like social media. You need to send a consistent message and nasty comments will distract from that.
So, make sure you moderate your blog comments. For example, I never publish a comment from an anonymous poster. At the very least, the poster has to come out to me privately, then I may approve the comment. If someone posts something negative on your blog, don’t reply on the blog, just delete the nasty comment and move on.
Same goes for your other tools. If someone feels compelled to disagree with you on any tool, look at it to see if it takes a reader off your message and if so, delete delete delete.
The internet may be an open forum in many ways, but when it comes to your business, you have to drive your own consistent path and not let the jerks take you out of your way.