This case just shows how much being hands-off online reputation management can ultimately cost you.
Bravo Channel’s “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” is a reality show that aims to improve struggling salon businesses one at a time by literally taking over the business and giving real-time help, including marketing direction, a physical makeover of the location, and human resource intervention, among other guidance to improve business. The host, by the way, is a no-nonsense, “tell it like is” beacon much like the Simon Cowell of the beauty service industry.
“Brownes & Co.” was owned by Nikki Mallon who had a “Big Brother”-type management style that employed cameras to monitor her employees. During her once a month visits to her business, Nikki would often criticize without the intention of it being constructive in any way. Of course, if anyone was in dire need of a makeover, it was this business.
Unfortunately, the TV exposure got tongues wagging not only on Twitter but on Browne & Co.’s own Facebook page. If you use Facebook, you know you need to be a fan or hit “Like” to access and post on a Facebook page. Furthermore, the wagging tongues zeroed in on the “bitch boss.” On the other hand, attesting to the power of social media, hundreds of people became “fans” of “Browne & Co.” after the broadcast very quickly—all sharing negative comments about Nikki Mallon.
Worse, sites like Yelp that carry reviews of restaurants and other services were also out of control with “Nikki”-bashing. While much of the Facebook comments were deleted eventually, remnants of the negativity surrounding the business stayed. There were even reviews from people who never visited the salon in Florida.
For a small local business, this could be the death toll of an already struggling business (the premise of “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.”