I was casually scrolling through my Facebook page earlier this week and saw something fascinating…
Check this out:
Customers are tearing Yelp apart on their own paid ad!
If you’re a business owner, advertiser, or anyone advertising online, this makes you cringe.
Imagine – you’re trying to tell people about your offer, service or product and they rip you to pieces…
To add insult to injury, you’re paying to give them a platform to tear you to pieces on!
There are a few things going on here that are important for us to learn from as business people and advertisers:
#1: ALWAYS Monitor Your Ads
One of the comments posted on this Yelp ad was from March 2. I am writing this post on March 10.
There is absolutely ZERO reason for comments to go that long on an ad and not be addressed.
Comments happen on ads all of the time – good and bad. If comments are going unresponded to, your lovers (people with good things to say) feel like you don’t care and your haters (people with bad things to say) think they can say whatever the heck they want with no accountability.
Sidenote: I’ve been the victim of many negative comments on ads in my day. It took me a while to catch wind of them, but it’s important to constantly monitor your ads. After all you’re paying for them.
#2 The Consumer Has A Platform To Speak
Social media and the internet has created a totally new consumer experience. Prospects and customers now have the opportunity to voice their experiences & opinions – good and bad – about a businesses.
In the olden days, customers had to grin & bear it whenever they saw an ad or TV, radio, newspaper, billboards or phone books that they didn’t like. Maybe they’d mutter something to their friend, but that would be it.
These days, every social platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, LinkedIn, Google Plus, etc.) is a space where consumers can share their thoughts – and many are using this opportunity to strike back on bad experiences.
As businesses, we need to realize this ASAP and make our deliverables the number one part of our customer experience. Customer service needs to reign supreme these days – it can cost you future business if you don’t make it a priority.
Sidenote: I’ve seen a ton of negative comments on ads in my day, none more so these days than on Instagram ads. People just don’t enjoy being advertised to on the ‘gram, I guess!
#3: The Best Defense Is A Good Offense
A lot of people have asked me before, “When I get comments like these on ads or regular posts, how should I respond?”
Here’s my take:
If the comment is a legitimate concern, bad experience or poor review, you must respond to it. Don’t delete it. Respond to it head-on and acknowledge people’s beefs.
A lot of times, people just want to know that they’ve been heard. They want to know that someone behind the corporate shield has heard their opinions.
Take the offensive and address their concerns as best you can. Engage in conversation.
A company who does this extremely well is Winco Foods – they openly address concerns and engage their consumers.
Now, if the comment is bigoted, hateful, sexist, racist or just obscene, delete it. No time for people’s nonsense.
Sidenote: I’ve seen some nasty comments on ads before. Real toxic. Engage with those who actually want to have a conversation. Delete the ignorance & move on with your day.
#4: Ads Can Lose You Business
Scroll back up to the top of this post and read through the comments that Yelp ad got again.
If I had the slightest notion of wanting to advertise on Yelp and I came across this ad, I would be a 100% NO after reading through these comments.
Think about it: Yelp (a massive platform with almost 100 million monthly users) uploads an ad to get new business. Instead of achieving its goal, this ad actually costs them potential business.
What a slap in the face.
They deserve it, though.
As an advertiser, you need to be ready to deal with the good AND the bad.
If you don’t, it can cost you business. This Yelp ad was probably targeted at business owners – many of whom did the exact same thing I did…read through the bad comments and made up our mind that Yelp ads are NOT for us.
Sidenote: There are no measurables here to how much business an ad with negative comments can cost you, but think about it – you’re essentially paying for people to read bad experiences customers have had with you. Horrible.
Monitor your ads, people!
If you’re going to spend money getting your offer in front of more eyes, you need to take time to address the concerns that come up along the way – you have the duty as a business owner and advertiser to engage with people who have had a negative experience with you in the past.