Home > Reputation Management, Social Media > Social Media Blunders – Please Don’t be an Ash

Social Media Blunders – Please Don’t be an Ash


Some companies are extremely fearful of social media because people can actually say what they want – good or bad.  Yesterday, I watched a negative social media interaction unfold before my eyes.  Another Utah SEO Company, SEO.com made a post on their Facebook page and a disgruntled client responded.  SEO.com could have responded in several ways:

  1. Ignore the post,
  2. Delete the post,
  3. Engage the complaint.

They made the right choice.  They engaged their client and even offered to re-examine their account.  Perfect response.  I posted it here as I love to see how businesses handle social media when it goes “wrong.”  This blog posts to both my personal Facebook page and my Fan page

Some of my friends commented on the personal page including my podcast co-host Janet Thaeler.  Some people from SEO.com found out about it and commented on the post over here, but I guess they found Janet’s comments through Facebook and read what she wrote.

As you know, my policy on Facebook is I don’t friend people I don’t know.  When two SEO.com employees sent friend requests, I sent back my standard reply to connect on LinkedIn.  Turns out they wanted to comment to Janet through my personal page. 

One of them, Ash Buckles, decided he didn’t want to do that.  Instead, he registered a website in Janet’s name and posted an article that libeled her and called me names!  Then he posted it all over Twitter!  Bad form Ash.  Do you do that with clients that leave you?  Absolutely unacceptable.

Janet was attending a conference and began texting me and then she called because not only did he put up this site, he direct messaged her some unkind words on Twitter.  Janet’s friends began standing up for her.  I decided cooler heads should prevail and tried to call Ash, but couldn’t get through on SEO.com’s phone directory.  So I tweeted my phone number to him to call.  By that time, I noticed the site in Janet’s name was down.  Thank goodness!  But the damage had already been done.  Thousands of people had already seen this unfold publicly.

I spoke to Janet again and Ash called her during our call.  Apparently he offered half an apology, because he thought he was right and apparently the VP of Marketing at SEO.com had made the suggestion as well as making him take down the site.  Then he called me, because of my tweet.  No apology.  He suggested I friend him and then unfriend him so he could comment on my page.  No Ash, that’s not the way I do it.  If you want to respond, copy and paste the conversation to a public forum like my fan page or my blog and respond there.

I told him he needed to publicly apologize to at least Janet.  This is what he said:

FTR: I apologized to @NewspaperGrl. HUGE misunderstanding. Everybody can get on with their Friday.

So the moral of the story is be really, really careful about how you use social media.  Hijacking someone’s name and then calling them a plagiarizer is not good business, especially when they didn’t do anything wrong!

I think Ash should take the new domain in Janet’s name and put all her social media contacts on it until the name expires next year.  At that time, he should let Janet decide what to do with it.  That would be a fitting apology.

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  1. June 25, 2010 at 10:26 pm

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