Stop Talking Badly About Your Clients and Customers on Social Media

2-LimitsI’ve been seeing this a lot lately and it’s really starting to irk me quite a bit, because I’m seeing it come from people that I know, like, and trust.

To be honest, I’m not sure if they even realize they’re doing it. I know they wouldn’t talk that way about a client or customer if we were sitting at a table together, so seeing them talk this way on social media is even more disheartening.

If you’re hopping on Twitter or Facebook to complain every time a client or customer does something that bothers you, I beg you to stop and think before you hit the post button.

I like to apply a THINK posting policy when it comes to things being said on social media.
Is what you’re posting True?
Is what you’re posting Helpful?
Is what you’re posting Inspiring or Interesting?
Is what you’re posting Necessary?
Most importantly, is it Kind?

If none of the above apply and you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t post it on your Facebook wall or Twitter account for the world to see. Please.

Consider the following …

I am not your client or your customer, but we’re friends on Facebook. I know you, you know me, we’ve had lunch together, I know some of your clients, you know some of my clients, whether through mutual relationships or through referrals.

Now, it’s Saturday afternoon and I’m on Facebook checking out what everyone’s up to, looking at pictures of cute kittens and checking out recipes for fancy cookies. I see you’ve posted a rant about a client on your business page.

The first time it happens I might think you’re having a bad day, so I don’t really pay it much mind and I drop you an email or a post to hopefully cheer you up a bit. Everyone has bad days, it’s okay.

A few days later I see you’ve posted another rant about a client or customer, and it’s not only a rant, it’s very specific. And a week later, again. Yikes, this is obviously more than just a bad day.

Here’s the thing… when I see someone posting things like that talking about clients negatively, referring to their customers as stupid idiots, and, quite frankly, being kind of a jerk, I’m not going to refer business to that person no matter how much I like or respect them. In fact, I start to respect them a little less every time they hit the button to post one of those rants.

If you’re feeling the need to vent about a client, customer, or work project, hop on Skype and tell a friend, or chat with your spouse, journal about it, do whatever you need to do to get it out of your system and feel better about it. But your public Twitter and Facebook pages that you use for business are really not the appropriate place for such discussion.

If you’re feeling this way often, it might be a good idea to reevaluate how you decide whether or not to work with a client, because you’re obviously getting into a lot of work situations where there’s a lot of friction and disagreement. However, calling your client a stupid idiot on Twitter or Facebook is not the solution. The fact that the project is over and you’re not going to work with them anymore doesn’t make it any better.

Like I said, when I see people doing this on social media I take them off my list of people to refer business to, because I don’t want my clients to be treated in such a way. I’m sure others do the same thing when they see this happening.

And even worse, if a potential new client or customer has stopped by your Facebook page or Twitter feed during their research phase before they hire you and it happens to be on a day when you’ve posted a rant, they are most likely going to leave and never come back. To them seeing you rant about your current or past client on the business page is a big red flag.

Two takeaways here….

  • Use the THINK model and check those off in your mind before you hit the post button.
  • Rants about clients on social media could be turning off potential clients and losing you referral business.