U.S. Markets closed

News Summary: Everyone's a critic, online

The Associated Press

YELP HELP: An Arizona restaurateur, fed up after years of negative online reviews, posted a social media rant, "''I AM NOT STUPID ALL OF YOU ARE," read the posting on the Facebook wall of Amy's Baking Co., near Phoenix. "YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW GOOD FOOD."

MEGAPHONE: The power of word of mouth has been amplified by the whims and first impressions of anonymous reviewers posting on dozens of social media websites, including Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook and Instagram.

STAY COOL: No matter how ugly the reviews get, experts say businesses need to be willing to admit mistakes and offer discounts to lure unhappy customers back. Still, they acknowledge, the wave of digital feedback can be especially challenging for small businesses with small staffs.