What to do when someone says, “You Suck!” on Social Media. Part I.

Let’s play a game.

Below is a quote from an actual Yelp review of a Broadway show.  Guess which one:

The storyline was predictable and weak and quite BORING. I was totally falling asleep during the second half and just wanted to leave. The lame story kept dragging on and on.  I actually felt sorry for the actors who were reduced to this level of degradation to earn a living. It’s a shame because some of them were really talented. However, the storyline didn’t even allow you to form any attachment to any of the characters. The songs too were not memorable, a few catchy verses, but not the quality I would expect from a Broadway musical. Even the sets were unimaginative and stereotypical. No depth, substance or smart humor in this show . . . Brilliant this was not, funny this was not, worth the time and money – definitely not!

What do you think?

Moose Murders?  Carrie?

Would you be surprised to hear that this 1 star review is for The Book of Mormon, a show that received across the board raves, several awards for Best Musical including the coveted Tony, and continues to play to sold out houses all over the country world, making it one of the biggest commercial successes of the last several years?

I wasn’t surprised.

Because like Mom told me as a kid when Leigh Joseph didn’t want to go out with me . . . not everyone is gonna like you, no matter how much you want everyone to like you.

The difference between now and 1983 is that back then, if people didn’t like you (or your business), they muttered it to a few friends and that was that.  Nowadays, if someone doesn’t like you or your show or your business, they tweet it, Facebook it, Yelp it, and bam – there’s a permanent record that could go all over the world.

We are living in the age of the consumer.  Content is still King, but the Queen is definitely the consumer.  And let me tell you, sometimes the Queen wears the pants in this relationship.

So it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re listening to your consumers, and that means having your ear to the social media ground.

But what do you do when you see a tweet or a comment that takes you to task?

Maybe they call out your lack of women’s restrooms, or sound issues, or a performance, or whatever . . . but they call it out.

So do you appeal to the social media gods to have the comment removed?  Dismiss it as the words of a “crazy”?

Well, the first thing you do is remember the words of my mom. Not everyone is gonna like you.  And that doesn’t mean you won’t be a success.  The key to success is not producing a show that everyone loves.  It’s producing a show that more people love than don’t.  You need a ratio of about 10:1, according to my calculations, to get the word of mouth action you want.

And just be lucky that you’re not a politician.  Do you realize we elect Presidents who sometimes don’t even get half of the popular vote???  These guys (and Lincoln was one) step into office knowing more than half of the country doesn’t want them there.  Imagine how they feel!

After getting your ego to accept that not everyone is going to love you, there are a few specific things you can do to take action against negative comments on social media.

And tomorrow I’ll give you three of them.  Stay tuned!


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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  • Kathy Hochberg says:

    smart woman your Mom 😉 going to see Mormon in Dec.

  • Ted says:

    There was a recent thread on a Broadway website with over 1,000 comments regarding a certain musical. 99% of the comments were almost identical to the comment you posted. Can you guess which musical it was? … “Honeymoon in Vegas.”

  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    I didnt think Mitt Romney used Yelp

  • Oh, honey, living well is the best revenge.
    Always has been.
    Whether you like your dish of revenge cold or hot
    is another matter.

  • Rich Mc says:

    Savvy consumers disregard ‘outlier’ social media commentary, and place their trust in consensus recommendations. The Yelp review Ken cited expressed pure opinion, however one sided, that would have certainly been dwarfed by contra views expressed by theater-going masses. No harm, no foul. The danger is that bogus FACTUAL information is spread by social media, and folks buy into it. This is another matter entirely and should be vigorously outed and stopped.

  • John says:

    So I once worked for a very large food company. We would measure complaints in “complaints per tonne” . That was easier when ever thing was written on paper ( and you could spot real issues vs people hoping to get a free coupon). It does suggest however the idea of measuring complaints and compliments per 1000 tickets sold. It rarely gives the “answer”, but it does give direction to explore.

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