I'm just going to go ahead and say it, Facebook, you are garbage.

I'm sure, as a business owner you've had this happen to you - the notification on your phone lights up with "Jane Doe left a review on your page". Usually, this garners excitement - but not this time. This time is different. This time, when you slide your finger across the screen of your device to view the review - your heart drops like a stone. 

You see something like this: 

Your morale sinks and your pulse pounds in your head at the thought of the fresh ONE STAR review on your Facebook Business Page. You think to yourself, "I'm a failure, my business in ruined - RUINED!" Breathe, breathe now.... All good? Okay, so that might have been a little dramatic, but that was exactly what one of our clients said to us over the phone (their first, and only one-star review amidst more than 75+ 5 stars) and it may just be exactly what is or has gone through your head. Keep reading, you're not alone.

The four stages of grief for one-star reviews

Almost everyone that receives a one-star review on their Facebook Business Page goes through these stages of grief. Do not fret, friends of the internet, you're not alone.

step one: Curiosity

First in the stages of One Star Review Grief is curiosity. You wonder what your encounter with Mister Angry Customer could have been, and yet come up with nothing. Flummoxed, you ask your employees if they've dealt with this one-star reviewer but they tell you they've never even heard of Mister Angry Customer. Next, you check your CRM and find that Mister Angry Customer has never even been in your shop, been on your website, or been anywhere near your business. 

step two: anger

Now, comes the yelling stage, the throwing things stage, the heading to the Apple store because I just threw my iPhone across the room and it smashed into a thousand pieces stage. It's OK, we've all done it, some, like myself take our frustrations out on our technology (I'm sorry iPhone, I didn't really mean it) and some of us deal with them much, well, better. You're ALLOWED to be angry, because if you don't know Mister Angry Customer, your employees don't know Mister Angry Customer and his digital footprint is virtually non-existent, then WHO IS MISTER ANGRY CUSTOMER?!

step three: bewilderment

bad-review-facebook.jpgYou walk around your office in a fog, your mind is racing at the thought that someone, with no affiliation to you or your business would just leave you a one-star review with not even the courtesy of an explanation (oh, and PS, you want them to write something, keep reading to find out why). You question every decision you've made about your company and it's products or services. You wonder if the logo is right, are my staff nice enough when someone walks in the door, are they funny and charming, does my product actually make people's lives better? You even try playing nice and commenting to their review so everyone else can see how civil, professional and human you are being.

step four: getting even

You get out your finest pitchfork, gather the boys in the back of the pickup and head out - just kidding, please don't do that. Fantasize about it all you want, but just don't do it. There are ways to get even, so let's break this last stage down a bit for clarity.

  • The people that make these kind of 'reviews' (if you can even call them that) are usually IQ-challenged, so they tend to do some stupid things when they post reviews like this. Click on their profile and see if they've left things public - where they work, what they do - anything can help you figure out what to do next.
  • Find out if you have had any issues on your business property, with your products (that were ignored or not known until now) or any other issues that happened recently.
  • As an employer, if I discovered employees were writing inflammatory comments or unfounded reviews on other companies, I would be extremely unhappy. Dealing with this requires a deft hand. At the very least, I would educate them on the impact that those false reviews have on a small business and if they put their employer on their profile feel free to contact them and have a chat.
  • If the situation is completely out of control, you can disable reviews altogether. It's not a stop though, it deletes them all - permanently. If you think you need to do this, click here for a how-to. I ask that you think about it first or comment below and we'll do our best to help you through it.
  • Again, don't do anything rash - or illegal - you're above all that, remember.


But, how is all this facebook's fault?

Good question! 

Facebook LOVES to go on about how they protect the rights of their users and how they make sure Facebook is a safe place for everyone to use anytime they like - I'm calling BS on that, right here and now. Facebook LIES.

Let's drop some facts on this last point.

  1. Facebook said this in response to MANY people complaining that random people would leave 1 star reviews with no explanation on their business page: 

    "Ratings without a review can not be reported or removed. I recommend having friends and family members give your Page high star ratings to help better the average rating of your Page. "

    That, right there is a Facebook employee ACTUALLY telling you (usually a paying customer through ads) to get your friends and family and Jon and Karen and Bill and Bob from down the street to review your company even if they've never heard of you. Can we call that fraud? Or is that too far? 

    Want to rip your hair out yet?

  2. If you're lucky enough for your review to contain text and not just a star rating (if they include text it means you can report it to Facebook, otherwise if it just a star rating you can't) you can report it to Facebook by clicking the tiny down arrow at the top right of the post. This is what Facebook has to say: 

    "You can report reviews that don't follow the Facebook Community Standards or focus on the product or service offered by the Page. We'll review your report and may remove reviews that don't follow our guidelines." 

    Don't get your hopes up though, I've reported hate speech and more disturbing things I've found on Facebook and 100% of the time I get back "We reviewed your complaint and found that it does not violate our community standards." BIG help, thanks a lot...

  3. There is no accepted method of discovery to be sure someone has actually been to your business, bought or experienced your product, or even heard of you before - ANYONE can review your business.

  4. Sure, you can ban someone from your page, but that doesn't remove their review.

The last word

Facebook, as one of the biggest companies on the planet has and will continue to have massive influence in our lives, and I'm calling on them to actually DO SOMETHING positive with that influenece and change the way web reviews are done on their platform. Make it so that the person has to have at the very least, been to the shop front, had the product or experienced the service before they can put on their keyboard armour on and rip the collective business world a new one. These types of attacks on businesses can easily ruin their reputation overnight taking a 5 star rating down to a dreaded 3, 2 or even a 1. Showing a rating that low will make customers and potential leads turn away without even giving your page a second look - yes, it's as serious as it sounds.

Have you had a similar experience with Facebook and the keyboard warriors? Comment below and tell us about it.