Reviews and reputation management have become an increasingly important component of digital marketing. Facebook is a key player in reputation management. In fact, user reviews on Facebook have emerged as the most popular way for consumers to provide feedback about local businesses. According to a Bright Local consumer review survey, 47% of consumers used Facebook to review local businesses in 2016. This is significantly more than Google (25%) and Yelp (17%), as well as other review sites.
Facebook Abandons 5-Star Review System in Favor of Recommendations
Recently, Facebook decided to replace its 5-star review ranking with a simple yes-no recommendation process, which has begun rolling out to all Facebook business pages.
Rather than rating a business on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, Facebook users now have to answer the question: “Do You Recommend [this business]?”.
If a user answers “yes,” they’ll be given the option to add tags (also known as Rich Endorsements), photos, and additional feedback about the business. If a user replies “no,” they will be asked to share specific feedback as to why they would not recommend the business.
This update appears to be an attempt by Facebook to weed out fake reviews, those who buy real Facebook followers and make it easier for users to provide genuine customer feedback.
How will Facebook Recommendations Impact Businesses?
As with any major change, this update raises questions and creates uncertainty among business owners as to how it will impact their businesses.
However, most digital marketers believe that the update should benefit businesses and their customers by including the basis for each recommendation. When a customer recommends a business on Facebook, the customer will be required to explain the reason for the recommendation. This will provide business owners critical feedback on the quality of their customer’s experience. It also benefits potential customers by providing specific details about what the reviewer liked or didn’t like.
In addition, this system will give the business owner an option to report questionable recommendations as irrelevant, unfair, or inauthentic. It remains to be seen whether Facebook will take action in response to this feedback from business owners.
Facebook understands that users trust the opinions of those they know most, which is why recommendations will be prominently placed across the platform moving forward. Instead of hiding under the rarely visited “Reviews” tab, recommendations now appear directly on the front page of a business’s Facebook timeline, and whenever people search or talk about the business on Facebook.
It’s no secret that crowdsourced reviews play a crucial role in the success of a business. Facebook’s new recommendation update supports this notion by making it easier than ever for users to review genuine customer feedback about a business before making purchasing decisions.
Dan Goldstein is the president and Jill Messinger is a Social Media Specialist at Page 1 Solutions, LLC. Page 1 is a digital marketing company offering SEO, social media marketing and reputation management for attorneys, plastic surgeons, dentists, and ophthalmologists.