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Catch up on the latest industry marketing news, dive deeper into marketing strategies and best practices, and get our best digital marketing insights below. We post often, so come back regularly to continue learning!

Facebook Reviews Are Now Facebook Recommendations


What the Change Means and Why it Matters to Your Business

You offer the best products, deliver exceptional service, and your customer support is second to none. So why aren’t more people talking about you?

You've probably heard that word of mouth marketing is one of the best and most credible forms of advertising. Quite simply, people are far more likely to buy from — and trust — a brand that was recommended by someone they know.

 That's all well and good, but traditional "word of mouth" only goes so far. In today's fast-paced digital world, you need to cast a wider net, which is where social media and other online platforms come in. With Facebook, Google, and everything in between, there are myriad places you can get customers and clients to leave you Online Reviews.

Why do online reviews matter? What do you do when you hear about a new restaurant or find out about a new product? Most likely you're firing up your "Google Machine" to see what you can find out. That's what your current and potential customers and clients are doing. And one of the first things people gravitate to is reviews. Good reviews are gold. They are always beneficial and only help to build your credibility. One Firefly makes it easy to collect and showcase good reviews with Review Champ. Now, Facebook is trying to make its review process more accessible and more streamlined.

Facebook Recommendations

Previously, Facebook used a review system, where users could rate your business on a star rating scale of 1 to 5. And while the star system looks cool and is relatively universal and well-known, it can be confusing. What’s different between a three-star and a four-star review? What if a five-star review is critical, but a one-star review is glowingly positive?

To avoid this ambiguity (and to differentiate themselves from Google and Yelp), Facebook ditched reviews in favor of recommendations. Now, users are merely asked a yes or no question — "Do you recommend this business?" From there, users are encouraged to elaborate and share their experiences via review tags (Facebook-generated tags based on the type of business), text (25-character minimum to encourage more detailed responses), and photos. People can still leave "reviews," (and ideally better ones) but the overarching message is clear — “Yes, I recommend this business.” or No, I do not recommend this business.”

Whenever someone searches for your business, Recommendations will show up. Best of all, users will see recommendations from their friends first, and as we stated, people are more likely to trust and buy from the brands their friends and family do. The average rating out of five will still be on your Page, factoring in both past reviews and new recommendations. Old one- and two-star reviews will be classified as “Not Recommended” and four- and five-star ratings will be “Recommended.” Any three-start ratings you had will be classified as “Reviewed.”

Why The Switch?

Facebook knows Business Pages are valuable. According to their stats, two out of every three Facebook users visit a local Business Page at least a week, and one in three people use Facebook to look for recommendations and reviews.

On top of that, it’s no secret that Facebook has been under fire recently and has been making conscious efforts to be more transparent. With Recommendations, Facebook is looking to garner more authentic reviews from real people and less fake reviews from bots, spammers, current or ex-employees, and the competition. The new system also allows users to dig deeper and share the unique aspects of the business as Google My Business does.

It also makes things easier. It’s easier to ask or answer a yes or no question than it is to assign or assess a star rating. But with less ambiguity comes more extremes; a yes or no question leaves no middle ground. Sure, a recommendation can be couched with a “but” or an “if” — but at the end of the day, it’s a recommendation or it’s not.

Next Steps

If your Page previously had reviews, Recommendations have been automatically turned on. If you never enabled Reviews, you'll have to allow Recommendations by following these steps.

More importantly, you need to be on top of these Recommendations. Users are going to be encouraged to give context to what was good or bad about your business or services. You’re going to get a clear view of where you’re excelling and where your shortcomings are. It's up to you to follow up on both and keep doing what's right and fix what's wrong. This allows you to honestly tell your business's story and showcase who you are and what you do. With Recommendations, Facebook is trying to rule the word-of-mouth marketing world. Your business needs to be active on social media. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to do just that.

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