Before you waste your time reading this believing you will get the secret to hand picking your reviews stop now. However, if you are genuinely interested in how to combat negative Facebook reviews you’ve come to the right place.
You’re right to be concerned about what sort of affect bad reviews can have on your business. Many studies show that people trust online reviews. Bright Local surveyed 1062 people last year (2016) and found that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. This was up 12% from the 2012 survey.
I’ll discuss 3 things you can do to combat negative reviews on your Facebook page.
1 – REMOVE
Remove Reviews From Your Facebook Page
The only way to “delete” reviews from your Facebook Business Page at this time is to hide the reviews tab from your page. Follow this path when on your Facebook Page. Settings -> Edit Page -> Reviews -> Settings -> Off. Please note that this hides all reviews.
I often have past and present clients contact me saying, “I have reported fake reviews to Facebook. Is it really at their discretion to remove them?” Yes! It is entirely up to Facebook. If a reputation management company tells you otherwise they may just be making their job sound easier than it is.
The bottomline is that if the post or review does not violate Facebook Community Standards it will not be removed. This is a vague document, but it is worth reviewing.
Remove Fake and Negative Reviews
Select the Reviews tab from the left menu then select the negative/fake review and select “Report Post” from the drop down. Facebook does not ask you for a reason, so provide your commentary in the accompanying satisfaction survey box.
2 – RESPOND
Respond To All Reviews… the good, bad and ugly
One of the best things you can do with your social media is respond. Respond even if you have asked Facebook to remove the review. If the review is true address it. Yes, address it online for everyone to see. People are reading these negative reviews while you wait for FB to determine whether or not they will remove them for you.
- Always Be Polite & Professional. Don’t be condescending and try to sound genuinely concerned. Just as you cannot remove the review they cannot remove your response to the review. However, they can delete the review, which they may choose to do if they like/dislike your response enough.
- Use Canned Responses. Be careful not to address incidents that you do not know about. Use a canned response like “Please contact our Office Manager, (name here), at (your phone number here), to discuss how we can serve you better.” When the public sees that you care enough to address an unhappy customer it resonates and they believe you care about this persons concern. Hopefully, you really do care, but even if you don’t this canned response is considered damage control.
- Talk To Your Customers Get the person on the phone and off social media. Work the issue out then ask them to remove their negative review or at least comment on how you empathetically finally resolved their problem.
3 – REQUEST
Request Positive Facebook Reviews
This is an ongoing tasks not a one time endeavor.
- Ask a customer to rate you after they have had a positive experience with your business.
- Add your reviews link to the back of your business card. Yes there is a link to send customers directly to your Facebook reviews tab.
- Ask for reviews instead of asking for referrals. In this prosumer age people like to produce media almost as much as consuming it.
Be proactive and you will drown out negative reviews with positive ones. No one option in and of itself works to combat negative Facebook reviews. Use all three, Remove, Respond and Request and you will be obtaining more new customers in no time at all.