This social media news item from the BBC this week is a cautionary tale for business owners. It vividly highlights the immense damage an employee can inflict on your salon using social media.

A salutary social media lesson for spa and salon owners

A village pub’s chef, sacked after refusing to work on Christmas Day, took to his employer’s Twitter account to seek revenge, claiming its food was sourced from a supermarket.

In a series of destructive tweets on the Oxfordshire pub’s own Twitter account he very publicly aired his grievances about his boss to some 2,000 of the pub’s followers.

He even changed the Twitter account profile message to “Let this be a lesson to all bad catering employers”.

Safeguard your salon brand on social

Despite being widely re-tweeted, the original comments had still not been deleted 19 hours later. The chef later tweeted from his personal Twitter account, saying he had created the pub account with the permission of his former employers.

And this is the nub of the problem.

The pub landlord was not in control of his own business social media.

Who is in control of your salon social media?

Many salon owners are happy to delegate the set up and management of their social media accounts to team members. Clearly, handing control and responsibility for passwords and access to employees can be risky as our tweeting chef demonstrates.

The unhelpful allegations about the pub’s food and behaviour were seen by thousands on Twitter and widely reported in the national and local media. Whoops!

The pub landlord launched a spirited defence “The implied suggestion that we are buying cheap meat and passing it off at a premium is, frankly, outrageous and untrue.”

Trouble is – the damage was done.

How to prevent your salon social media being abused by your team

Stopping your team using their personal accounts for defamatory comments is clearly not possible. However, these tips will help safeguard all your own salon’s social accounts.

1. Take charge

Set up your social media accounts personally. We can help if you don’t know how or are pressed for time.

2. Look after your brand

Ideally, run the account yourself. At worst, keep a close eye on it. Have comments, re-tweets etc alerts sent by email to your phone. And check it regularly. The pub landlord could have stepped in and closed the account earlier if he’d been aware of what was happening.

3. Protect your passwords

Keep your passwords private and change them regularly.

4. Have a written social media policy

  • Set out clearly what is and is not considered acceptable conduct by employees in their use of social media sites.
  • And explain why.
  • Focus on conduct inside the salon.
  • And also outside it.
  • Highlight the consequences of breaching the policy.

Social media can be a useful salon marketing tool but, as our tweeting chef shows, it can play havoc with your salon’s reputation.