Why Ignoring negative Facebook reviews can hurt your brand

Written by Sandra Argese
on 18 Feb 2020

When it comes to making or breaking your brand, social media is EVERYTHING. And that’s no exaggeration. Across the globe, over 4.5 billion people are online, and social media users have now passed the 3.8 billion mark. That’s a lot of newsfeed scrolling and meme sharing.

It’s not just individual users, with business pages across the globe forming an almighty chunk of the social media puzzle. But what happens when someone decides to leave a negative review on your business’ Facebook page?

We’re going to quickly dispel the myth that people don’t actually pay attention to Facebook reviews. According to BrightLocal, a whopping 88% of people read reviews to determine the quality of a local business.*

Think of it like this. A friend can inform you about their bad experience with a business. Only you hear about it. A negative review tells the entire internet about it. That’s not good news for the reputation of your business.

Even the biggest and best businesses can get hit with a negative review. A staff member may have had an off day. A well-oiled practice mightn’t have worked for a particular customer. The customer could’ve been double-charged.

So if your business gets hit with a negative review, what do you do?
Do you ignore them? Do you delete them? Do you respond to them?

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Ignoring the review is equally as powerful as responding to it.

If the negative review is from a legitimate customer who may have had a negative experience, ignoring it is a MASSIVE NO-NO.

Managing your online reputation is crucial, and so ignoring it can be perceived as a business not caring. People want companies they can trust, have faith in, and respect. Ignoring a post disqualifies these very traits. Without replying, people may assume the complaint reflects the way you always do business.

Imagine you’re in line for a coffee. A customer approaches the counter and voices their disdain at a burnt cappuccino. The manager takes one look at them, ignores them, and continues making more coffees.

Are you going to keep waiting in line for your coffee? Unlikely. You’ll probably go elsewhere. After all, who wants their morning hit of caffeine to be burnt?

Make your response non-confrontational.

Clearly read the review and understand it before you begin crafting your response.

Starting off by giving a super friendly vibe will work a treat. It’s as simple as greeting the person by their first name and thanking them for taking the time to provide the feedback.

Acknowledge their concern. Showing you sympathise with the reviewer is the first step to a great response.

Make an apology and give the customer some form of praise. It may sound a bit tricky, but doing this can work wonders. You could thank them for using your services (this is where you can sneakily praise the great work of your business), for example.

Consider how you’ll make things right, or offer an explanation as to why something happened a certain way.

Sweeten the deal. Give them a reason to trust you and use your services again. You may wish to pursue the matter further and invite them to call or send a private message.

Here’s a great response to a negative review from Arnotts Shapes.

Arnotts negative facebook review response

Handy hints
  • Do your best not to use your business name and location in your response. This will make the negative review less likely to be prioritised (and found) in search engines. 
  • Keep on top of your social media notifications. Don’t miss negative reviews or even negative commentary that may be posted on your page. Handle it as quickly as possible. Not only does it show customers that you are on the ball, but it won’t give the illusion that you’ve ignored it. 
  • Don’t forget to include an emoji or two, if appropriate. A smiling emoji can completely change the tone of a post. 
  • If the review is inappropriate, spammy, or even fake, you can report the review to Facebook to have it removed. If the review doesn’t meet Facebook’s Community Standards, go to the review and click on the ! button in the bubble in the top right-hand corner. You can only report on written reviews (star ratings cannot be reported on).

Digital 2020
Bright Local 

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