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Avoid social media weapons of mass destruction

Protect your reputation from acts of 'social media terrorism.'
By Aaron Goodin |
Avoid social media weapons of mass destruction

There issues that are being heavily discussed across the social media, which obviously abound with users who can be unforgiving and relentless in voicing out their opinion against organizations, businesses, or individuals. The social media can easily make or break anyone’s reputation.


Social media terrorists
In the world of social media, people who intend to attack a business or another person through cyber bullying can hold a more dubious title---terrorist.

Not the kind armed with traditional WMD (weapons of mass destruction); these social media terrorists, armed with only a keyboard, a camcorder, or a cell phone, are causing untold reputational destruction, damaging the credibility of businesses and individuals.

These unfortunate examples make it painfully clear that anyone’s misdeed now can easily result in mass reputational destruction.

woman_244179_640.jpgSimply responding to an online attack isn't enough. You should always take time to craft a response that's properly aligned with your brand's message and values, while also being mindful that time is always of the essence. A speedy, professional, and courteous response will prevent a single incident from spiraling out of control and it could even turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one.

Like it or not, today we all live in a brave new world beset by endless commentary in the form of tweets, blogs, mobile uploads, tags, and videos. Nothing is ‘off the record.’ Just because you aren't on Facebook doesn't mean that compromising video of you at a friend's cocktail party can't abruptly end your career.

You need to learn to live along social media, and adapt accordingly, if you don't want to fall victim to its terrorist side.


Here are some tips to help stave off and manage social media attacks:

1.    Be careful what you say and what you post.

2.    Be vigilant about who's recording you and what's being said about you and your company online.

3.    Be prepared with an emergency action plan so you can react quickly to legitimate threats.

4.    Minimize any fallout by quickly going on the offensive. Respond genuinely on the same social media channel.

5.    Build a bank of goodwill among people who influence your brand; the fans, bloggers, online media, customers, and commentators. The best defense is a solid offense, right?

6.    Never masquerade online (pose as someone else) or pay a third party to blog on your behalf.

7.    Train yourself and your employees on the above steps.

And most important of all, just follow Microsoft's social media policy; preach and practice good judgment at all times.


Copyright © 2009 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

This article originally appeared on Additional information and edits have been done by the editor.


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