Facebook Review Swarms

Handling a bad review swarm

Every so often someone hypes up a group of people over a real, or more likely perceived, misdeeds committed by a small business. That person mobilizes a few friends and, suddenly, a bunch of negative reviews appear  on Facebook.

Think before acting

Few review swarmers think  through a strategy; they act from impulse. A small business lessens the impact with good strategy.

A few points to consider:

  1. Most often these attacks offend the average, sensible person. Whatever the “perceived evil” few people join swarms or think them valid.
  2. Consider the value of responding. Often feeding the swarm gives it succor even pulling in more people.
  3. Think strategically. Acting hastily likely grows the problem or makes the business appear worse.
  4. Keeping cool keeps the advantage for the business.

Persistent generic responses

Generic, persistent, polite responses give swarm leaders something to show friends. Decent people ignore exhortations to get involved while other bad actors join the swarm. The active response wants to identify all bad actors available to the initial troll.

Respond more than once, remain professional and thoughtfully answer the swarm.

In the worst case where some reviews remain, customers in coming years see thoughtful, professional responses while the swarm appears angry and vindictive.


Avoid immediately flagging inappropriate reviews, block bad actors first

Sounding counterintuitive, blocking members of the swarm minimizes their impact. Pegasus Ventures  often sees one person start the swarm with their Facebook friends responding to the generic responses from the business instead of creating their own reviews. The “drama” of, even, generic responses keeps their attention.

Each person adding a comment the business blocks them from the business Facebook page. They continue to comment on their “friends” review but lose all access to the business page to add their own review.

Let the swarm exhaust itself; then act

Review swarms, usually, last only a few days. The drama peters out and the bad actors move on.

Once a few days of silence pass go ahead and flag the inappropriate Facebook reviews.

Removed reviews takes all the content and conversation down. Already blocked, these folks find no way to add a less offensive review.

Read more on reviews from Pegasus Ventures:







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Negative review swarm; thoughts on managing keyboard warrior attacks