For the thousands of businesses that rely on Facebook to interact with their customer base, one of the foundations of that relationship is a review system that allowed people to vote on how good the business is: Five stars for fantastic service and only one star if it was abysmal.
Those days are gone.
Now, in its place, Facebook is beginning to roll out a simple yes-no recommendation that simply asks customers if they would recommend this business to someone else or not. If they answer yes, customers will be able to endorsements such as tags or photos to their response or provide additional feedback on why they voted that way. If they say no, Facebook asks them to describe why specifically they feel the business can’t be endorsed.
Why the Change?
Facebook understands the power of relationships probably better than any other tech company on the planet. One survey reported that nearly 50% of customers use Facebook to review businesses, almost double that of Google (25%) and Yelp (17%). Because of that, they know that people are most likely to listen to their friends or those they trust for recommendations to a specific business, rather than a simple rating system that can sometimes be the target of hackers or fraudulent reviewers.
Indeed, fake endorsements seem to be what Facebook is targeting the most in this update. If a business receives an unfavorable report from a customer that they believe is irrelevant, unfair, or even fake, they have the ability to report it to Facebook in hopes of having the report removed, but it remains to be seen just how much action they’ll take on a per-case basis. Regardless, this new shift allows businesses to receive much more genuine feedback than they have in years past.
How Does This Impact My Business?
As one might expect, any change within Facebook’s ecosystem is bound to bring with it numerous fears about how it will impact the relationship-building aspect between business and potential customers. Most digital marketers, however, don’t see this as a problem; instead, they see it as a huge win for companies who honestly want to provide the best service for their patrons.
For starters, the newly added recommendations feature is now displayed prominently on the front of a business’s individual Facebook page, rather than hiding it behind a tab on the side that very few ever visit. Whenever people search for the business on Facebook, it will also appear in results or when it is mentioned specifically in other social contexts.
In addition to that, businesses also have the ability to garner real, constructive feedback from their customers instead of a simple star rating. While that’s a concise way to review a business, it’s not very in-depth. Now, a company will be able to tell not only that someone liked their establishment, but why.
Truthfully, there’s very little that businesses need to change by way of marketing to their customers. By simply encouraging their patrons to leave feedback on Facebook, they’ll be harnessing the world’s most powerful social vehicle to recommend their business to their friends, as well as acting as a de facto focus group on how to enhance their operations. Rather than viewing these changes with trepidation, companies should be jumping at the change to better their online position.