How to Master Ratings and Reviews on Social Media



We know, we know. Another day, another post about the importance of online reviews.

We could throw out stats like how one negative review can cost you up to 30 customers, or how 4 out of 5 consumers reverse their purchase decisions based off of negative reviews, but we’ll assume you’re fully aware of the why, and want to get to the how.

From Yelp to TripAdvisor, the reviews about your brand are out there. The way in which you handle and respond to grievances and compliments about your business is crucial to master. Like all actions on social, responses to reviews should be a part of your brand voice and strategy, and handled by a trained team that knows the ins and outs of your business.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to get your brand started:

  • Do stay courteous, gracious, and human. Keep it warm and friendly by writing like a real person, not a robot.
  • Don’t get defensive. Be extra cautious of this online, as your tone can easily get confused or lost when read by consumers.

Tip: Have another team member proofread the response to ensure they interpret it correctly.


  • Do steer conversations to Private Messages. Most review sites have a messaging function, and it’s recommended if you need to gather further information or discuss a sensitive situation.
  • Don’t solely reply privately. Potential customers are looking at the way businesses respond to users, and are making key purchasing decisions based off of what they find. Remember that you’re not just responding to one customer, you’re responding to the hundreds or thousands of potential customers that visit the page.


  • Do clarify inaccuracies. Remember that these reviews and responses are public, so other users can read misinformation as fact. If a customer wrongly states that the restaurants close at 9pm when you really close at 10pm, politely correct them.
  • Don’t get stuck in the weeds. While it’s important to clarify facts and misinformation, harping on every detail can come off as defensive. Keep it short and simple, and prioritize addressing the major issues first.


  • Do offer valuable coupons or discounts when appropriate. Customers are much more willing to give businesses second chances if they are offered a gift card or coupon after their negative experience.

Tip: Do this privately to ensure other users don’t create fake reviews for compensation.

  • Don’t offer customers compensation in exchange for writing a positive review. That’s the fastest way to get your account on Yelp’s radar. Not only is it unethical, it can get your account shut down.

Tip: You can instead inform the consumer that your brand’s on Yelp if they’ve had a great experience.  

Now go forth and conquer those online reviews! For more tips, tricks, and expert knowledge on responding to social media reviews, contact the Ignite team.

Ignite Social Media