Having a run of negative feedback on Facebook? Being troubled with trolls or a campaign trying to discredit your business online? This tutorial will show you how to disable reviews on Facebook and how to handle negative feedback so you still come out on top regardless of what is said.
Reviews, or social proof as they are otherwise known are incredibly powerful. Few people buy anything online without checking reviews first and seeing negative reviews, even one bad review with 99 positive ones is enough to put some purchasers off.
If you run a business, Facebook is an essential part of your marketing mix. With billions of users, multiple ways to interact with customers, a two-way conversation with your fans and lots of methods you can use for engagement, why wouldn’t you use it?
There are obvious downsides though. The same tolls and jerks that makes Facebook difficult to use as a private citizen can also be the same with businesses. Facebook is also used to discredit some businesses on purpose by review bombing and through coordinated campaigns of social media marketing.
Search for ‘buy negative Facebook reviews’ online and see the dozens of companies offering to sell negative reviews. For not a lot of money you can buy negative reviews to supposedly counter the raft of positive reviews to make your profile more realistic. In reality, those services are used to discredit competitors. Nobody thinks for a second that any business would ever purposely add negative feedback to their own account.
If you’re interested, read this story about a business who was targeted by fake Facebook reviews. It shows you just what happens when a competitor wants to take you down.
Disable reviews on Facebook
It is possible to disable reviews or to report and remove fake ones. I would suggest removing fake ones and leaving reviews enabled. If you are continually targeted by fakes, disabling them altogether may be the only way.
To disable feedback:
- Log in to Facebook and select your Page.
- Select Settings and Templates and Tabs from the left menu.
- Select Settings in the Reviews row in the center.
- Toggle it to Off.
This is the nuclear option as reviews are important to buying decisions but if you have no choice, that’s how you disable them.
Report a fake review on Facebook
If you only suffer a few fake reviews, you would be much better off tackling them instead of turning off feedback. Here’s how.
- Select your business Page.
- Select Reviews from underneath your main image.
- Select the fake review and select the three dot menu icon beside it.
- Select Report Post and follow the reporting wizard.
If you have ever dealt with Facebook before, you won’t have much hope that anything will happen. However, you have to follow the process and let the company do anything or nothing before taking it further.
Handling negative or fake reviews
The measure of a business is not how it handles day-to-day operation but how it handles itself when things go wrong. Your first instinct might be anger, despair and a desire for revenge but none of those things will work on Facebook. Instead, you have to play the game.
Handling real negative Facebook reviews
The key to handling negative reviews is to do it calmly and professionally. Replying with a rant is not going to win you any new customers or increased loyalty. However, if you address the problem at hand, offer to work with the customer to ensure their satisfaction and act professionally and appropriately, the negative review can actually be made to work for you instead of against you.
It is good for customers to see how a company handles criticism. If you do it professionally and rise above any vitriol spilled in a review, you come out on top. Offer to work with the customer to make sure they are happy, you reassure all customers that even if things go wrong, you’ve got their back. That is worth many positive reviews.
Handling fake Facebook reviews
Handling fake reviews is slightly different but can also be turned on its head. If you read the story linked above, you will know that a positive outcome can be gained from fake reviews. Being honest and upfront with your customers about what is happening and asking them to leave positive reviews to counter the fakes can work.
It isn’t guaranteed to work though. Not all businesses have that kind of customer loyalty and not everyone will want to leave a review. Placing a reply to each fake marking it as such can go a long way to managing the situation.
Fake reviews are something of a plague on Facebook and other review sites. As many companies are spending resources on combating hate speech, fake news and higher profile issues, fewer resources are placed with other customer service areas. Report a fake review to Facebook to see what I mean!