If you've ever left a review on Facebook before, it's always worked pretty much like every other rating site. You visit a company's Facebook Page, click the review tab, enter a 1-5 star rating and provide a brief comment.
This is the same pattern used by other major review sites, like Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor.
That's what makes this change pretty big news. Facebook has eliminated the 5-star rating system and replaced it with Facebook recommendations.
Now, when your customers go to leave a Facebook review, they'll instead be asked to make a Facebook recommendation with a very simple question:
Would you recommend Company X?
Here's how the new format for Facebook reviews appears on Facebook for the new Facebook recommendations:
First thing's first: you need to create a Facebook company page and optimize it to get customer reviews. Check out our guide on how to set up a business Facebook Page.
Secondly, there aren't really Facebook ratings anymore. A Facebook Page rating is now a recommendation, so your customers won't rank your business anymore.
So this means that a Facebook review now takes the form of recommendation. Customers will be asked if your business is worth recommending to others with a simple yes-or-no question.
You can ask to get Facebook recommendations from your customers by directing them to your Facebook Page and by clicking on "Recommendations" or "Reviews."
With a tool like NiceJob's reputation marketing software, you can also automate getting Facebook reviews and share your Facebook reviews as social proof to easily increase sales and improve your reputation.
Facebook reviews are now recommendations. But they're still reviews in a way, except users simply give you a Facebook review by recommending you with a "yes" instead of giving you a Facebook rating of between 1-5.
This means that a Facebook 5-star rating has a different functionality than it previously did.
Facebook ratings no longer exist. They have been replaced by Facebook recommendations, which are a yes/no review of a company's Facebook Page.
Both Facebook ratings and Facebook recommendations are types of reviews. So you can still get reviews on Facebook as Facebook recommendations. Except customers will simply recommend you or not instead of giving a Facebook 5-star rating.
However, at least for now, Facebook still shows 5-star ratings—they calculate this score "based on how many people recommend or don’t recommend the Page, as well as any past ratings and reviews it may have."
In other words, customers now leave Facebook reviews as "recommendations" instead of manually leaving a star rating. And then Facebook shows a 5-star rating based on the recommendations the business receives.
Facebook-review algorithms decide how many stars a business gets mostly based on how many customers give a yes/no recommendation of your business.
Multiple-choice rating systems are always a bit subjective. And the more choices in a rating system, the more subjective each choice becomes.
In a 5-star review rating system, some customers may view 5-star ratings as utter perfection, something that can be rarely, if ever, obtained. Other customers may rate almost any product or service five stars, as long as the product was satisfactory. The more options any decision has, the more room for interpretation there will be between the given options.
A "yes" or "no" question on the other hand is a binary decision—there's only two available outcomes. A customer is presented with a unambiguous question: "Would you you recommend Company X?" Their answer to that question is open to very little interpretation; it's either "yes" or "no."
Another advantage of limiting the potential responses is that it generally increases response rates. Choosing between five options is intrinsically more difficult than choosing between two options. And people are generally more likely to act on the path of least resistance. Changing ratings to recommendations will likely help Facebook significantly increase their response rates.
A resounding yes! Here's why.
People love social validation. Admit or not, most people really do care what other people think. So if your friends all rave about a product or a service, we feel good about making that same choice as it's already been socially validated. This influence of social validation happens all the time without us ever knowing it.
For small businesses, this kind of social validation is called social proof—and using social proof reviews is a great way to market your company and increase your sales.
In the past, social validation required in-person contact. Thanks to Facebook, we have the biggest social validation engine the world has ever seen (for better or for worse). Personal contact is no longer needed, a single post on Facebook can reach thousands of people.
Everyone a customer is connected to on Facebook can see their Facebook recommendations and reviews.
Let's say your a home-service company, like a plumber or window cleaner. You do a great job and your customer leaves you a Facebook recommendation. That customer is Facebook friends with many of the neighbours and others in the community. All these connections now see that this person recommended your company.
That should get you really excited about Facebook recommendations and the updated Facebook reviews!
91% of people trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation from a friend
Recommendations are powerful social proof, just like review ratings. In the coming years, businesses that don't make reputation marketing a core piece of their marketing will find it very hard to compete.
Do great work. Offer a great product. Create exceptional experiences for your customers. Customer service is paramount to collecting Facebook recommendations, so read our guide on how to deliver exceptional customer service.
Most importantly, make sure you ask for Facebook recommendations! Customers will want to know how to leave a recommendation Facebook, so give them some direction when you ask for a Facebook review.
Your customers want to know how to leave a review on Facebook, so simply invite them to recommend you.
So many companies that have a great product or service fail to take that last step in enabling their customers to share their experiences in an easy way.
Facebook recommendations may need to be turned on for your company page, so here's the step-by-step guide from Facebook on how to turn on Facebook recommendations.
And never forget to deliver an exceptional customer experience!