Inevitably someone will dislike something you’ve done as a chamber or someone will write something on social media about a member and that member will come to you asking for your expertise in handling the situation.
What will you tell them?
We’ve written before about how to handle bad reviews from a reaction perspective but what can you do behind the scenes on the sites themselves? Do you have any recourse if someone writes a review in error or based on something no one has any control over? What can you do if you’re trolled by someone claiming to be a customer or client but you know they aren’t?
Bad Facebook Posts and Reviews Do Happen to Good People
This post isn’t about the nicer points of dealing with bad social media reviews like “don’t attack” or “don’t get defensive.” You can find those here.
This is about what you can do on the technology side. How can you notify the right people when a review is erroneous or unfounded?
I know a business that operates a brick and mortar in an area of town where parking is tight. They have three spots in front of their business. On the next block, is a busy bar. Often on a Friday afternoons (we’re in Florida, it’s always happy hour), patrons of that bar park in front of the business.
The business owner has the appropriate signage denoting the spots as her business’ parking. She usually just asks the owner to move. One day, an owner became belligerent about moving. The resulting confrontation turned into a social media war on Facebook with multiple people posting about how rude this business owner was insisting those spots be saved for her clients. A pregnant person shouldn’t be expected to walk a great distance to go to the bar. (I can’t make this stuff up. That was the gist of one of the comments.)
What can be done?
Or what about the architect/business owner who received a review that read, “This sucks.” The architect designs high-end homes for only a handful of clients a year. He knew this person was not one of his clients.
But here these posts and reviews are, marring their pages.
What recourse do they have?
Options for Dealing with Bad Facebook Posts or Business Reviews
- Let Facebook know. Turn in bad reviewers who either aren’t clients or whose complaints have nothing to do with you. Understand that this often feels like shouting into the wind. Social media platforms aren’t known for customer service.
- Disable posting to your Facebook page. I’m not a big fan of this one because it hurts people who may love you. But if you disable posting by just anyone or you disable reviews, they will “disappear.”
- Hide the comment. If it’s a comment on Facebook, you can hide it by hovering over the ellipses just to the right of it. Yes, it will still show up to the poster and all of the poster’s friends, but it will be hidden from the general public.
- Delete the post. Once you’ve hidden it, you can delete it. However, the poster will be able to see their post is no longer on your business page. This can cause them to become more insistent and begin posting elsewhere. Save this option for inflammatory or derogatory remarks. After all, you don’t want to get the reputation of being a non-transparent business.
- Ban them. If the person is a true troll, you can ban them from your page. Once you hide their post, you have the option of banning the writer. You can also do this in your settings by viewing who has liked your page and then selecting ban user.
- Ban certain words. This is my favorite option by far because it allows people to post but not about keywords you find offensive or not inline with your business. It also solves the problem that occurs when you ban someone with a fire in their belly and they simply create a new Facebook profile. (Yes, that happens.) You can ban the word “sucks” or even “parking.” But know that this may also keep legitimate comments off your site like “we had no problem finding parking.”
- Get by with a little help from your friends. Your best members (clients or customers, in the case of giving advice to your member business) are your best defense. If you have a good relationship, ask them to post a positive comment about you so that the good outnumber the bad.
Finally, these suggestions are all based on the reviews or complaints being erroneous or posted by a malicious troll. If these are legitimate complaints, even if you don’t share their views, address them. Make the customer feel heard and remedy the issues.
You know this person believes in the value of social media. Maybe, just maybe, you can make them into a vocal supporter by addressing their needs.