How Not to Respond to Reviews

There’s a school of thought in local SEO that all reviews should be responded to. While that’s great in theory, it doesn’t always hold up in practice.

In many cases, the social media of a small company might be handled by the company’s owner. With all the things on the owner’s plate, it may not be possible to respond to each and every review.

Or, the owner may not be able to respond in a way that is helpful. For instance, a bar in Austin, Texas, Unbarlievable, has created quite the kerfuffle with their mysogynist, racist, and objectively crude responses to reviews.

While the reviews have since been deleted, a Facebook group has been created to maintain them in perpetuity.

Here’s an example of their fine responses:

Obviously, this is an extreme example, and whoever was responding to reviews for Unbarlievable (the owner, I would assume) seems to have some issues (IMHO), but it raises a valid point:

If you can’t respond to a negative review in a way that will make things better rather than worse, you’re better off not responding at all.