Mercury is in retrograde, and Facebook is rolling out yet another change to keep us on our toes. When was the last time you checked your Facebook reviews? If you’ve been following along with our best practices, you’ll have noticed a slight change from the prior five-star rating system Facebook employed.
The new system asks customers to publicly leave reviews by simply recommending or not recommending your business to their friends, family, and your page followers, rather than giving a one to five-star rating like other review sites.
While the new recommendation system appears to be launched on all business pages, that doesn’t mean your prior star ratings have disappeared. They still apply and can be seen on your “Reviews” tab like the image below.
So how will this affect your happy customers?
When customers visit your review tab, they will be prompted to “Leave a Recommendation.”
If a customer selects “Yes,” she’ll be met with this prompt:
Facebook auto-fills suggested tags from positive phrases garnered from previous reviews. Once the customer presses “Post,” the recommendation goes live on the customer’s wall to all of her followers and remains on your page in the “Reviews” tab.
If the customer selects “No,” she’ll receive a similar prompt, this time auto-filled with negative terms collected from other pieces of feedback:
What This Means for your Business
Facebook is labeling this initiative as a way to “Help People Connect with Local Businesses” and considers business pages to be crucial to building and sustaining a local community. We see this update as a refreshing 21st-century twist on “word of mouth.”
This update means that all recommendations will be made public to your customer’s follower list, increasing the overall reach a positive comment will receive. Previously, all of your reviews were housed solely in your reviews tab and would only be shared with a potential audience if they visited your page and sought out those reviews. This is a new feature and much remains to be seen, but we think the value of a Facebook Review / Recommendation may have just increased exponentially. If you don’t have a plan and systems in place to make it easy for your customers to write recommendations for your business, it is now more critical than ever!
Recommendations will also require a minimum character count of 25. This removes the ability for customers to leave a positive or negative recommendation without providing feedback. This change will allow dealers to receive authentic comments regardless of the experience instead of just a star rating with no applicable comment attached.
While this benefit applies to positive mentions, you may ask yourself, how do I react to negative recommendations? The same best practices apply. We still advise responding to negative recommendations as quickly as possible. The Facebook update, however, does grant businesses the option to “Give Feedback” on any recommendation. While it is currently unclear how the review process will work for negative reports, it does grant businesses a level of control over spam, harassment, or unfair recommendations.
At this time, Facebook has not provided API support for this change, and therefore it is not yet possible to monitor your Recommendations in real time via any third-party system using the Facebook API. The development team at Friendemic will actively add this functionality into our systems, which includes our Catalyst Suite, as it is made available by Facebook.