I’ve set up a lot of Google My Business profiles for local businesses. Each time I do, there’s one thing that weighs heavy on the mind of the owner – “what if some disgruntled, no-good customer who isn’t even in my target market, decides to leave a one-star review and destroy my business?”
As a business owner myself, I get that worry wholeheartedly.
You’re putting yourself out there to be judged. You’re inviting the world to share their experiences knowing that those experiences will influence whether others step foot inside your facility. It’s scary stuff!
But it turns out, fear is the wrong mentality.
Case in point: Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah.
Utah is one of the hottest spots in the country for people who love to glide down the powdery snow on sticks (can you tell I’ve only skied once in my life, being from Tucson and all?). There’s steep competition in this area and a one-star review on TripAdvisor could mean dozens, if not hundreds, of lost bookings and visitors.
With so much at stake in this highly competitive market, you can imagine the fear these business owners have about inviting the world to review their resort, right?
And like any business will experience at one point or another, a bad review came. In fact, several bad reviews came. But the one-star reviews weren’t something the resort cowered behind. Instead, they used it for good.
Take a look at this news story about the ad:
This marketing director read a review and knew immediately that his resort had attracted the wrong type of skier – someone probably like me who looks a little something like this on the slopes, rather than Lindsey Vonn.
The review read, “I’ve heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous. It felt like every trail was a steep chute or littered with tree wells. How is anyone supposed to ride in that? Not fun!” – Greg from L.A.
“How is anyone supposed to ride in that?”
These statements could’ve sent the executives at Snowbird home with a stone in their stomachs as they tried to figure out a new approach to burying the review. Instead, they took it and created a full blow ad campaign around it. The result? Lots of attention from people who loved their approach.
Harnessing the Power of Critics in Your Content Strategy
Critics come in all shapes and sizes. Some are like Greg, who had unrealistic expectations when he rode the ski lift up Snowbird. Others are like the girl who just stepped foot into your hair salon hoping you’d give her some fashion color, only to find out you strictly provide blonde, brown, and black coloring.
No matter who it is, you can use this type of review for good.
Incorporate it into your content strategy. Use the negativity to highlight what makes your business different.
Snowbird doesn’t shy away from the fact that their mountain isn’t for beginners. They embrace it, which has helped them attract more avid skiers from around the world.
One-star reviews are just one way to tap into this approach. The point is to embrace your business’s uniqueness and use that to drive attention, sales, and yes, loyal customers who can’t wait to write slightly snarky comments about your naysayers on social media.