In the recent years, Facebook has become very important to businesses and consumers all over the world. According to Alex Himel – a Facebook’s Chief of Local, “more than 1.6 billion people around the world are connected to a small business on Facebook”. Most of these people rely on reviews left by previous customers to make their buying decisions. One in every three persons makes use of Facebook when looking for recommendations or when they want to read reviews about a local business.
What this simply means is that Facebook Reviews is getting very important for both businesses and buyers. As such, Facebook is overhauling the recent reviews and recommendation system. A couple of months ago, Facebook announced they will introduce a new recommendation system that makes it easier for people to interact and recommend local businesses.
Goodbye to the Starring Review System
Before now, if you wanted to review a local business on Facebook, you had to rate it based on a 5-star rating system – which we’re all used to by now. However, starting from August 2018, Facebook has phased out the 5-star rating system and replaced it with “Facebook Recommendations”.
The new Facebook Recommendation systems will be rolled out gradually throughout the rest of 2018. This new system combines the functionality of reviews in a more human and relatable way. Instead of assigning a star rating and writing a review, customers will now just answer “Yes or No” when asked to give a recommendation and then give a reason for the answer provided.
It’s more black or white now – consumers either liked you, or didn’t. There will be less “passive” customer reviews than in the past.
While it’s debatable whether this review system is better, it certainly makes the process of leaving reviews more streamlined and encourages customers to be constructive and specific when sharing their experience (positive or negative).
What Are The Benefits of the New Facebook Recommendation System?
Recommendations and reviews are extremely important for any companies reputation. People make use of recommendations to find where to eat, where to go and where to shop. Two in three Facebook users visit the page of a local business at least once a week, while three in five Facebook users look for recommendations and reviews on the platform. Given the importance of Recommendations, Facebook has made these changes to make it more valuable in our everyday routine of searching out a business.
Other benefits include:
1. Increase Consumer Reach
Positive recommendations allow local businesses to increase their reach on Facebook. Your Facebook Page Score which will be determined by the number of positive and negative recommendations you have, in places like Maps or newsfeed where customers make recommendation-specific and spontaneous decisions based on the shares of others.
Facebook Recommendations are easily discoverable. A positive recommendation will boost influence in helping new customers to interact with a local business. Facebook users are seeing recommendations more frequently in their newsfeed now that this change has been implemented. Therefore, for every one recommendation – this gets shared to the customers network of friends, which never used to be the case.
2. Tag Recommendations
Now, a customer will have an option to choose a tag that best describes their recommendation. Facebook system will automatically generate these tags based on words used. For instance, “Best Restaurant”, “Excellent Service”, “Decadent Desserts”. These auto-generated tags make it easier to flag content that is fraudulent or spammy and have them removed. So it’ll be even harder for people to leave fake reviews consistently.
3. Rich Communication
The new Recommendation system is making it easier for a customer to describe his entire experience with a particular company. Now, you don’t have to use just stars. You can talk about your experience and even include photos and gifs which were not available previously. The cool thing about this is that the post will be displayed in the Recommendations section of a local businesses Facebook Page.
This can be a strong focal point for your business to use as a sales-tool in convincing prospective customers to do business with you. You can refer them to the words of other customers, rather than your marketing material – which doesn’t compare in today’s world where we are conditioned to buy from other customers.
What Does This New Recommendation System Mean For Business Owners?
This is certainly a great news if you have a business that prioritizes quality customer service backed up by a quality product. With the new Facebook Recommendation, your efforts will no longer go unnoticed – and get rewarded publicly.
Whereas before your customer would send you a thank you card and a box of chocolates, which is nice! Today they will leave you a public recommendation – which is infinitely more valuable.
One way a business owner can leverage this system is to create their own recommendation system. When a customer is satisfied with your business, you can now refer the customer to recommend your business on your Facebook Page. With more positive recommendations, Facebook will help you attract “already-convinced” potential clients who have made up their mind to purchase from you as a result positive social influence recommendations given by others.
Overall, Facebook’s new recommendation system is good for business. As long as you guide the customer and keep things as simple and frictionless as possible – you will notice a great ROI on Recommendations, just like Google reviews, when the flywheel starts to spin.