If you’re a big company, negative publicity can be shaken off through a coordinated PR effort, an expensive advertising campaign or even a strategic sacrificial firing or two. Yet when you’re a small business, negative publicity can be extremely difficult to fight. That’s especially true for negative reviews your business may incur on sites like Yelp, where unhappy customers can air their grievances for the entire world to see. Negative reviews on Yelp or other review sites can be devastating — nearly 60 percent of people say a negative review of a local business affects their opinion of that business.
Although you might be wishing Yelp and sites like it would just disappear rather than stress over your online reputation, the truth is, they’re a fact of life today. While there doesn’t seem to be anything you can do to manage your online reputation on Yelp directly, that’s not necessarily the case. In certain circumstances, Yelp will listen to you and remove a review that paints your business in an unflattering light — you just need to be aware of how to utilize Yelp’s terms of service to your advantage.
For example, reviews that promote one of your competitors can be flagged for removal from the site, as can reviews featuring explicit or offensive content, or reviews that are written on someone else’s behalf. Take a look at the following guide for a list of reviews that Yelp will remove from your business’s page. It’s probably not the type of solution you’re wishing for, but it’s at least a small measure of control that can help you manage your business’s online reputation.
Author bio: Lee McNiel, Founder and CEO of ReviewPush, graduated from Texas State University and has extensive experience in online review management. McNiel assists local businesses, franchises, and multi-location businesses with monitoring and managing their online reviews.