Earlier this month, Facebook announced new tools to help people connect with local businesses. Pages have always been an easy way for business owners to connect with their customers through social media. To date, more than 1.6 billion people are already connected to a local business on Facebook?
The update to business Pages includes a new mobile experience, improved ticketing for local events, the addition of Facebook jobs and making Recommendations more prominent. The new tools will help make Facebook easier to use for local business owners and their customers, but the update to Recommendations will likely have the greatest impact on your bottom line.
Facebook is doubling down on Recommendations, which will replace Facebook Reviews on local business Pages. According to a page outlining the update, 1 in 3 people on Facebook use the platform to look for recommendations and reviews. Facebook states, “Local business Pages have always been able to feature ratings and reviews on their Page, and now we are updating reviews to Recommendations.”
Today, Recommendations aren’t visible to all Facebook users and businesses. The new feature will be rolled out gradually throughout the rest of 2018. Along with an updated UI, Recommendations combines some of the functionality of reviews into a more streamlined process including:
Instead of asking users to rate your business on a five-point scale, Facebook will now ask your customers “Yes” or “No” if they recommend you. Customers will then see a list of suggested tags to explain their recommendation as well as the option to input text or photos.
The new tools don’t just make it easier for your customers, an update to reporting will help you flag content that is fraudulent or spammy with a variety of auto-generated tags, making it easier to have inauthentic feedback removed from your Page.
In addition to higher quality recommendations, you’ll also start to see recommendations more frequently in your newsfeed. That’s because Facebook is making them more discoverable across their entire platform.
What does this mean for business owners?
If you appreciate the influence of reviews on your local business Page, then you probably have a few questions on how your business—and online reputation—might change. It’s important to keep in mind that Facebook is rolling out Recommendations gradually, so you shouldn’t be overly concerned about any sudden changes.
We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions for business owners below.
Will Facebook be replacing Reviews with Recommendations?
Yes, Recommendations is replacing Reviews gradually. As of right now, pages are showing both Reviews and Recommendations together.
How is my business Page rating calculated?
Page ratings will still be out of five stars for now. However, as Recommendations become the new standard, it’s likely that this could change. Facebook stated, “This score is based on how many people recommend or don’t recommend the Page, as well as any past ratings and reviews it may have. You can influence your score by leaving a recommendation on its Page or recommending it to your friends on Facebook.”
Which Facebook users see the option to recommend, rather than leave a review?
Facebook appears to still be testing this feature. This means that some Facebook users only see the option to recommend businesses, while others still see the option to review businesses.
What does this mean for Podium users?
For active users, you may have already noticed Recommendations being pulled into the Reviews section of Podium. Read our complete update for more information on how Facebook Recommendations will effect your Podium account. We’re working closely with Facebook to make sure your experience, and that of your customers, is as seamless as possible. If you aren’t already using Podium to drive more reviews and better customer interactions, see how local business owners are becoming the obvious choice online and off.