We’ve probably all seen defamation of a business on Facebook. And defamation of a business on social media. Our world is fast-paced and our social landscape is a fiery place. This article outlines four steps your brand can take to avoid business defamation.
4 Steps To Successfully Avoiding Business Defamation
Defamation occurs when someone makes a false statement that is damaging to the reputation of your business. It could be a:
- False negative review on Facebook or Google
- False statement posted on social media
- False comment made to the press
Such slander is often made for malicious reasons – a customer may be trying to con money out of you or a rival company may be trying to tarnish your reputation to boost their own. In other business defamation cases, it could simply be a form of attention seeking.
Defamatory comments could lead to a loss of customers and subsequent financial loss. It is important ,therefore, that you protect your business from this type of negativity.
Below we take you through how to defend your brand against business defamation.
Record Evidence To Use In Your Defense
Many false claims can be defended against by journaling evidence of your work. There are many ways to do it. A few examples include:
- Putting agreements in writing. This can prevent people claiming that they agreed to different terms.
- Recording phone calls with customers. This can be used to prove wrong any false statements of what they claim may have been said in a phone call.
- Recording CCTV footage in your store or office. If someone makes a false claim of something that happened in your store, this may prove your points.
- Taking pictures of products before a customer receives them. This can prevent someone tampering with a product in order to claim that it was broken or contaminated when they received it.
Recording evidence of your work could also benefit you in settling:
- False private complaints
- False insurance claims
- A business defamation lawsuit
Respond Carefully To Libelous Written Material
If defamatory material is published online and you have the option to offer comment, be thoughtful in how you respond. You may be tempted to reply angrily, however this could backfire if you’re then accused of harassment.
You should respond calmly to any false claims as if they are real. However, you should draw into question anything that you know cannot be true (for example, if a customer claims they never got a package but you have photo evidence taken by a delivery courier). You should absolutely enter that into the discussion.
Be wary that in some cases you may be able to get reviews removed or social media comments reported. This post at Reputation Stacker offers a few tips for dealing with fake reviews and Facebook reviews you’d like to be deleted.
Hire A Lawyer To Argue Your Business Defamation Case
Can a company sue for defamation? A legal advisor will be able to make best recommendations for each individual case.
If a case of defamation has already started to have a negative impact on your sales, you should consider hiring an attorney. There are companies such as Boulder Legal Group that specialize in business litigation. They are likely to know the best way of proceeding – which could involve seeking legal compensation.
Build Positive Feedback From Clients, Employees And Suppliers
A defamatory comment is likely to carry less weight if you have already garnered oodles of positive reviews and comments online.
Try to focus on building positive comments and reviews by reaching out to loyal people around you. Get in touch with happy customers by email and politely request for them to leave a positive review. Ask employees to leave positive reviews on websites such as Glassdoor. You can also cross-promote with suppliers and other collaborators to boost each other’s reputation.