The Negative Review... Is there Such a Thing?


In one of our more recent blogs, we talked a bit about the benefits of social media. Since then, we’ve been hearing from some financial institutions that, well, weren’t convinced that a social media marketing program was right for them.

Their reasoning?  Negative comments.

Is that a legitimate concern? Well, the honest answer is yes… and no.

The reasons behind the “yes” answer?  Negative comments and review about your business on social media can be costly. Research has shown that a negative comment can cost your institution approximately 30 potential customers.  That is, however, if that comment or review is not responded to in the appropriate way.  Which brings us to the “no” part of our answer.

Let’s face it.  There’s a lot of truth to the old adage that you can’t make everyone happy, no matter what you do or how you do it. Taking this to heart, you can begin to understand that perhaps negative comments and reviews are not the worst thing in the world.  Why is that?

Be Proactive

We need to start with being proactive with our social media management.  That means staying ahead of potentially negative comments by “diffusing” them before they even appear.  This is accomplished through positive comments.  Integral to your social messaging is the message that you welcome comments.  Invitations such as “tell us about your experience,” and “don’t forget to mention your great experience on our social media,” will ideally keep the positive messages flowing on your social platforms.  When someone sees one negative review surrounded by 7-10 positive ones, the negative effect of that one comment is greatly diminished.  It provides an additional, positive perspective and that’s critical to your social marketing success.  And, believe it not, a negative comment can even “add legitimacy” to your social messaging.  Sad to say, people tend to question the legitimacy of platforms such as Yelp and Facebook when they show only positive reviews and no negative ones.

Take the high road and take it quickly.

Another step to take in keeping your platforms working for you in the event of a negative comment is this: Act quickly.  Individuals watching your social media are just as interested, if not more so, in how you respond to a negative comment than the comment itself. 

A great example of this:  Capital One’s response to one hundred million Americans having their personal information, transaction data, credit card numbers, and social security numbers stolen by hackers.  When they announced that "no bank account numbers or Social Security numbers were compromised," but then listed tens of thousands of bank account numbers and social security numbers that were compromised, they caused a “Twitter storm” that took months to subside.

Here’s something you must consider that other businesses needn’t. As a financial institution, there are always security threats when any account holder info is made public, even just a name.  Customers who post to your sites may not be thinking about the fact that others are watching. If for example, a customer has a concern about a particular service you offer, one that they’re taking advantage of, it’s best to take that conversation out of the public view.  Let the individual commenting know that you’re sorry that they feel the way that they do, that you understand, and that you’d like to speak with them further, but privately.  The last thing you both need is a hacker getting into the conversation.

Monitor your Platforms Regularly

By keeping close tabs on the dialogue you’re having with your customers – and responding promptly and in a productive way – you’re creating personal relationships that can then become mutually-beneficial business relationships.  You can also learn from your social interactions. Perhaps many people are complaining about/commenting on a similar topic, service, or member of your team. Perhaps those complaints are legitimate. Social media comments can help you gain insights into how customers, and potential customers, see your business; very useful information when you want them to do business with you! So, don’t let the potential for a few negative reviews or comments deter you from social media marketing.  See these comments, instead of negative, as opportunities to build relationships and with those relationships, your business.

For more information on how can help your bank with Social Media, here’s an article on social media marketing that we feel is worth reading.  You should also feel free to contact Neal Reynolds @ 678-528-6688 or


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