In August 2018, Facebook replaced the star rating feature for business pages with Recommendations, a new feature of the new Facebook review system. Instead of users writing a review and giving a star rating, they now have to simply answer one single question: “Do you recommend [company name]?”. After answering yes or no, customers are then asked to offer specific comments on what they recommend about the business, or give feedback on how the business can improve. Recommendations have streamlined the process of leaving reviews and now motivate customers to be more specific and constructive regardless whether their experience was positive or negative - as well as being more transparent for new potential customers.
You're now probably wondering what exactly this means for businesses on Facebook? The better question, however, would be, how can facebook recommendations be used to your advantage?
To begin, businesses now have the opportunity to nurture a consistent story about their brand.
Facebook Recommendations can help businesses build up customer-generated brand stories on their page. Detailed recommendations of a business give a better insight into what prospects can expect based on other customers’ experiences. Before Recommendations, customers talked about a business in private channels, such as messenger or status updates. Now, Recommendations are tied to the user’s newsfeed. This means that if a friend is looking for a recommendation and they name drop a local business, their recommendation will be pulled to the company page.The comments you, as a consumer, have regarding a business, are now linked throughout the platform via the business page.
Customers also now have the option to add photos or gifs when posting a recommendation about a business. All photos are displayed in the Recommendations section of the business’s Facebook Page, meaning prospects are able to see into a business’s brand story through the visual experience of other customers.
More reviews and higher engagement on your business page
The recommendation process is now easier and therefore, more convenient for users on Facebook than it was before. Convenience converts. This means local businesses are seeing more reviews than before. If a business is providing a good service, they’ll see more positive reviews on their business page as a result.
Without the star rating system, customers can now spend less time trying to figure out how to rate their experience and instead focus on providing more meaningful and concrete comments based on their experience. Prospects will still be able to see the star rating, but they will pay greater attention to what others have to say about the business. As a business, it’s now more important than ever to manage and protect your online reputation and improve the service you offer, offline and online, because of the value of earning genuine recommendations from customers. In addition, this also means you should encourage your customers to share their experience on Facebook.
Tag Facebook Recommendations
When people recommend a business, they can choose from a series of tags that represent a positive theme or aspect of the experience. Refer to the image below. Customers who don’t want to recommend a business can also select tags that describe what they would improve about the business. These tags are kind of like hashtags for businesses and the Facebook system generates them based on words used in past reviews.
This makes it easier for businesses to find out what they are known for and identify trends. Therefore, as a business on Facebook, one must strive to have a really good optimization strategy.The more customers “tag” a certain theme of a business, the more likely they are going to get new customers searching for that particular asset in which a previous customer had said the business excels in.
Overall, Facebook has put a higher emphasis on authentic reviews with this new feature. Recommendations reinforce the status of a Facebook business page as the leading platform for bona-fide customer reviews. Businesses that use the tool for building a positive online reputation will be able to leverage recommendations as a starting block to get more customers, thus building up their brand and driving revenue.
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Rachel Mzengi is OneCoWork’s Social Media Manager.