Move over Ratings, Facebook Recommendations are here.
Facebook announced that the way customers interact with local businesses is changing; including replacing star ratings and reviews with Recommendations. In this post, we’ll cover what the Facebook Recommendations update means for you.
Facebook Recommendation Updates
Ratings are now Recommendations! Here’s what you need to know about the change:
- Recommendations will be posted directly to the business Page (in place of review/star ratings)
- Legacy reviews are being changed to “Recommended” or “Not Recommended”
- Legacy 1 and 2-star ratings are “Not Recommended”
- Legacy 4 and 5-star ratings are “Recommended”
- Legacy 3-star ratings show up as “Reviewed”
- Legacy star ratings no longer appear in star format, but under “opinion” score
- Updated to 25 minimum character count to promote leaving more detailed recommendations/reviews
- Newsfeed Recommendations posted by your network will influence Recommendations to the business page
- Recommendations can have a suite of tags and rich media (photos) attached to them
It’s obvious from these updates that Facebook is making an effort to give customers (and businesses) richer, more valuable recommendations on which to base their purchase decisions. More weight will be added to each recommendation with a minimum character count and rich media additions such as tags and photos.
What the Facebook Recommendation Updates Mean for Local Businesses
1. Businesses cultivate a consistent story about their brand
Facebook Recommendations will help build up a customer-generated brand story for businesses right on their Page. New detailed Recommendations of the business will give a better insight into what you can expect from that business based on other customers’ experiences. Before Recommendations, customers would talk about a business in private channels or status updates. A friend on Facebook would ask “Where’s a good place to get my windshield replaced?” and their network would reply with various businesses they recommended. In October 2016, Facebook added the first slice of Recommendations and users started to see them appear in their news feed when friends/family were looking for suggestions for local products/services.
People were starting to talk about the best businesses in their area, sharing their suggestions and recommending local businesses to their friends on Facebook. But these conversations weren’t tied to the business’ online reputation (star rating) directly, and now they are. As of August 2018, Facebook Recommendations have replaced star ratings and reviews, which adds consistency to the social media platform. Tying in the idea of Recommendations from a user’s news feed to the same messaging on business pages allows for a consistent message to describe user feedback of a business on Facebook.
“People already use Recommendations to ask their communities where to go, what to eat, or where to shop. We’re making those Recommendations more prominent on [business] Pages.”
When a friend is looking for recommendations and you name drop a local business, your recommendation will be pulled to the company page. The conversations that customers are having online will have an effect on the businesses that are mentioned.
2. Improved reporting of spam & fraudulent Recommendations
Facebook is prioritizing the need to get rid of spam reviews and make it easier for businesses to report fraudulent business feedback. In addition, the minimum character requirements allow for reviews to be more personalized and limit the amount of one-click-one-star spamming that was seen on Facebook in the past.
3. Emerging business themes from Recommendation tags
New tagging functionality will help provide an overview of service performance to local businesses. Adding sentiment tags or related keyword tags to Recommendations will allow themes to emerge from customer feedback. This makes it easier for businesses to find out what they are known for and identify trends.
The New World of Digital Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most powerful ways to market a business, and Facebook has become this type of marketing’s new, trackable avenue. Businesses want people to talk about them with their friends, to share their good experiences, and to drive more traffic to their business. But they also want to track where their customers are coming from and who referred them to their business. In 2016, Facebook allowed people to ask their friends for Recommendations to find experiences from local consumers who have dealt with businesses in the area. Whether you’re asking your best friend for a good plumber, or getting that same answer over your Facebook news feed, it’s still word-of-mouth marketing. Now, Facebook is tying everything together by telling a consistent story around Recommendations. With this update, Facebook hopes to become the go-to destination for word-of-mouth marketing.
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Content courtesy Vendasta.