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Writing Online Reviews: Social Media is Powerful

According to Google, 1/3 of business patronage is based upon online reviews! If you have had a positive or negative experience accessing services or products, you can express this in a way that informs potential customers and the venue. Plus, it's healthy to get things off your chest. Why lose out on an experience and just feel disappointed? Express your opinion, and help your community at the same time!

For people with disabilities, an experience often starts with something the able bodied take for granted:
simply the ability to enter a business, school or public building. Is there a ramp? Easily readable signage? An accessible washroom? Were you treated with respect and dignity?

Answers to these questions can be the start of a useful review. Imagine the impact on social media of, "I've wanted to try this place for a long time. Unfortunately, though they told me on the phone it was accessible, there was a hidden flight of stairs to the main part of the theatre. I could not see the show and had to leave."

Where to Review

The most popular platforms are Yelp, Facebook reviews, and Google Reviews. The latter usually comes up immediately in the right sidebar when someone searches for a venue, and a number of stars is displayed. You then click on the stars to read written reviews.

Each of these require account creation, which means a user name and password. Google Reviews requires a Gmail account. We recommend using an anonymous user name on Google and Yelp for safety. Facebook does require your real identity.

How to Write Effective Reviews

You want to write reviews that inform the public and the venue of your experience in an accurate, dignified manner. Name calling or getting too personal can result in your review being "flagged" and removed.

  • Keep it brief
  • Keep it factual
  • Describe your experience. What happened?
  • How did this impact you? 
  • Avoid focusing too much on one employee's behavior. Dysfunction is usually systemic. If an employee was flip about there being strobe lights that trigger seizures, the core issue is no forewarning given about the lights. It's too easy for management to claim one employee is a "bad apple" who will be spoken to. The problem is inaccessibility.
  • Don't name call or describe another person in abusive terms. This both discredits your review, and can get it removed.
  • Suggest what would create accessibility for you. For example, "It seems to me there is more than enough space to install a ramp at the entrance," or, "The elevator is locked at certain hours, with a sign telling people to use the stairs. What if we can't climb stairs?"