There are five billion internet users globally and 3.64 billion of them use at least one Facebook product each month. As the world’s largest social network, it’s also an important platform for local businesses, both in terms of connecting with local consumers and for reputation and review management.
Data confirms that consumers overwhelmingly turn to Facebook to research products and services more than any other platform. In fact, 51% of consumers say they use Facebook most for that purpose, with just 30% preferring YouTube instead.
Source: Lucid Software
Why do Facebook Recommendations matter?
Facebook Recommendations provide a simple way for potential customers to judge whether a local business could be a good fit for them. As with other review platforms, Recommendations on Facebook allow consumers to share their experiences of local businesses with their peers. This is something that many local consumers value as a key part of their decision-making process when choosing a local business.
The latest Consumer Review Survey confirms that more consumers are reading online reviews than ever before, with 77% ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ reading reviews when researching a local business.
While this is a powerful statistic in its own right, it becomes even more compelling when combined with the fact that local consumers turn to Facebook more than any other social network for business and product information. These two behaviors clearly illustrate the potential power of a positive review profile on Facebook.
One of the interesting things about this new emphasis on Recommendations, is that social media is primarily a peer-to-peer space. This lends itself perfectly to reviews and the influence of reviews on Facebook, especially given how many people put as much trust in online reviews as they do personal recommendations. As a local business, knowing how to get Recommendations on Facebook can allow you to tap into the benefits on both sides of that coin.
How do Facebook Recommendations work?
Previously known as reviews, there are two types of Recommendations on Facebook. The first is where users can take to their feed and ask for someone to recommend a product or service (such as a local handyman, date venue, or removal service). Other Facebook users can then respond with suggestions of local solutions that fit the bill.
The second type is where Facebook asks if a consumer recommends a business that they’ve used, with the local consumer able to select simply yes or no.
After making their choice, there’s the option to provide a more detailed text-based review, giving more context to the feedback.
The Page visitor will see a points-based score out of five.
Reviews gathered prior to the switch to Recommendations will still be displayed on the reviews tab, but it doesn’t appear that the additional information offered by reviewers choosing from the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ options is currently published. Facebook is in the process of making changes to how its review system works, so this may change and we’ll update this information to reflect any new developments as they happen.
How do I find Recommendations on Facebook?
Locating your Recommendations on Facebook is easy. Simply log into your Facebook account, pull up your Facebook Page, and look for the ‘reviews’ tab along the top of your screen (just below your cover image).
How to Get Recommendations on Facebook
Growing your positive Recommendations on Facebook isn’t as daunting as you might think.
Check That Your Reviews Tab Is Enabled
The very first thing to do before devising a strategy for requesting Recommendations on Facebook, is to ensure that you’ve enabled the reviews tab. If you’ve previously received reviews, Recommendations will also be enabled unless you’ve turned them off.
To check, you’ll need to log into Facebook and have your Page open. You’ll see a ‘Manage Page’ menu on the left side of your screen. Scroll down to the ‘Settings’ option.
Next, click ‘Template and Tabs.’
Now you can turn reviews on or off with the toggle.
Devise Your Review Request Strategy
If you’re already in the habit of requesting reviews for other platforms, such as Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business), you can use many of those same techniques to get more reviews on Facebook.
- Email: You may already be sending out emails to customers after you’ve successfully delivered the purchased product or service. Your email review request template can easily be adapted to include Facebook as an option for those who are happy to leave a review of your business. Include a link to your Facebook Page and a brief outline of how to locate the reviews tab.
- SMS: SMS is a tried-and-tested method of growing your review profile and can work just as well for Facebook as other mediums. Just be sure to include your Facebook Page link in your SMS review request to get the full benefit of the incredibly high SMS open rates.
- Share a post on your Page: If you already have a respectable follower count on Facebook (or other social networks) share posts on a regular basis inviting your followers to leave a review. The standard rules of requesting a review apply here — be polite, thank your followers for their time, keep your message brief, and provide clear instructions for how to do so. Given the creative freedom you have on social media, you could even include a video or graphic with your post to demonstrate how to leave a review.