How do you get rid of a bad Facebook review?

a bad facebook review

It’s probably one of the most commonly searched for phrases when it comes to Facebook:  “How to delete a bad Facebook review” or “how to get rid of a bad review on Facebook”.

Facebook Reviews Star Ratings

Well, unfortunately I’m here to tell you that you can’t.  If you want to accept online reviews for your business, you have to take the good with the bad.

In fact, we actively tell our clients to encourage Facebook reviews for their businesses.  But why would you do that if there is the chance you can get a bad one?!


Why A Facebook Review Is Good

1. A Facebook review will positively influence EdgeRank

EdgeRank is the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine where the posts from your Page will end up in the newsfeed.  To keep it simple – getting a star rating or review increases your Page’s overall organic reach and brand visibility meaning your posts are more likely to be seen, and by more people.

2.  You can reach potential new customers

When someone leaves a review on your page, their friends receive a notification.  Many a time this feature has made me aware of a business I didn’t know existed:

Notification of a Facebook Review

3.  Facebook reviews including purchasing decisions

According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 90% of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.  This is not only for restaurants or bars, but also for service providers, online stores and more!

4.  It offers transparency

There’s nowhere to hide with Facebook reviews.  You can’t delete them; so, the good and the bad are there.  But the fact of the matter is that people are going to be talking about you whether you like it or not.  Would you rather it at their next Mother’s Group meeting or in the front bar over Friday beers, where you have no right of reply?  Or maybe instead on Facebook where you can respond to it?


6 Tips for Handling Facebook Reviews

“I’ve got a bad Facebook Review – what do I do?!”

First off –try to look at it as a positive.  99% of the time, someone leaving you a bad Facebook review is a cry for help. If you look at it as an opportunity to turn things around, it can change things entirely.

Here are my 6 tips for handling a negative Facebook review:

  1. Keep the emotion out of it. Stay cool.  Remember to take a deep breath and keep your responses non-emotive.  Have a second person read over it if you think necessary to make sure the tone of your response can’t be misinterpreted.
  2. Always offer a personalised response. Never just copy and paste ‘cookie cutter’ responses as users reading all of your reviews will see the pattern and it won’t impress them.  At the very least, start by addressing the person by name.  “Hi Shelley,”
  3. Apologise.  While there may well be many reasons as to why something happened that you could explain, that’s not important here.  Say sorry first.  “I’m sorry that this has been your experience.  This is certainly not what we strive for here at ….”
  4. Move it to a private conversation.  Depending on the level of private information that may be shared, you may wish to encourage the user into a private discussion. “I’m going to send you a private message to get some more information about this situation so I can investigate further with our team.”.  It’s important that you instigate this private message so it appears in their inbox for response, as opposed to asking them to private message you.   And don’t think that this private message will always be private.  If you decide to change your tone and become rude, flippant or dismissive, there is a rather large chance that the customer will screenshot that and share it far and wide.
  5. Offer a remedy. If you think it appropriate or possible, offer to rectify the situation publicly so that other users can see the problem and its fix.  For example:  “My team and I have taken your comments on board, and they will be tabled at our next staff meeting so we can come up with ways to ensure that this won’t happen again.  I would like to offer you and your family free tickets/a free meal so that you can visit us again sometime.”
  6. Sign off personally. People like to know who they are talking to.  Try to finish your reply with your name and/or position (if applicable).

Just remember that people are always watching.  This is not a private conversation on Facebook, and it’s a chance for that user and their Facebook friends to see how you can turn things around.


Turning Off or Reporting Facebook Reviews

“But the reviewer isn’t even a customer?”

If you have noticed a negative review on your page from a person who has never been a customer or who just seems to be out to get you, you have a couple of options.

Firstly, you can report that review to Facebook by clicking on the 3 little dots at the top right of the review:

Positive Facebook Review

On the dropdown menu that appears, select to Report and you’ll get a little pop up window where you need to follow the prompts:

Report a Facebook Review

However Facebook tends to be a slow moving beast and sometimes these things just don’t get rectified.  If you find that you’re having ongoing issues with negative reviews on Facebook that aren’t appropriate, it may be worthwhile turning them off for a period of time.


Turning off Facebook Reviews

If the stream of poor reviews is constant and you’re not having much luck, it may well be worth turning the reviews off.  To do this:

  1. On your Facebook page, click Settings at the top
  2. On the left hand menu, click Edit Page
  3. Scroll down to Reviews, and click Settings
  4. Switch the tab to Off, and Save.

Turning Facebook Reviews off


Just keep in mind that this doesn’t delete the reviews entirely.  It just hides them from view.  If you decide down the track to turn them back on, they’ll all still be there.


If you’d like any more assistance with your social media, be it outsourcing the worry entirely by having someone manage your social media for you, or maybe some social media training and consulting to help gear your team up for handling online reviews – just get in touch.  We like to start with coffee.

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Simone Douglas

Simone Douglas

Simone is co-founder and Senior Principal Solutions Architect of Social Media AOK. Simone offers over 17 years in corporate management roles encompassing generalist HR recruitment and development of small to large teams across multiple sites, industry sectors and states. Experienced in a variety of social media platforms and their complimentary applications, social media strategy, risk management, disaster recovery and associated HR policies and processes.