Acclaimed restaurants with an active Facebook business page will soon have a new way of showcasing their 5-star reviews and ratings from food critics.
According to reports, Facebook is going to be adding critics’ reviews of restaurants to restaurant pages. The reviews will come from sites that host professional critics’ reviews: Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Eater, New York Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
The professional reviews will appear alongside consumer-generated reviews and customer feedback, which Facebook enabled late in 2013 for local businesses with the launch of a Review button. (Check out the guide for managing Facebook reviews.)
Right now, the critic reviews feature on Facebook is being tested on select restaurants in New York and San Francisco.
A new way of finding great local businesses on Facebook
“The new updates appear to be aimed at making Facebook a more useful way of finding local businesses, akin to the search tools offered by Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google,” wrote the Independent’s Andrew Griffin in an analysis. “Facebook has long offered that kind of search – and hosts pages for most businesses – but hasn’t made much of a dent in those bigger businesses.”
A spokesperson has told the Verge that “since reviews are such an important part of helping people make informed decisions about what to do locally, we’re excited to be incorporating a new way for people to use Facebook to find the best real-world experiences.”
Don’t expect the critic reviews to be all raves and praises, though. According to Facebook, negative reviews may also appear on a restaurant’s Facebook page, if any of the partner publications happen to have posted a not-so-positive review of that particular restaurant.
It’s interesting to see what kind of impact professional reviews from food critics – combined with reviews from everyday consumers and normal restaurant-goers – will have on the reputation of restaurants listed on Facebook.
According to ReviewTrackers research, as much as 33 percent of diners won’t eat at a restaurant with an average rating that falls below 4 of 5 stars.
Now that the critic reviews feature has been rolled out, it makes sense for restaurateurs and food industry execs to launch efforts that will boost their visibility on social media platforms like Facebook – efforts that include PR campaigns, blogger outreach programs, and media relations activities.
Equally important, however, is the management of customer feedback and online reviews, since these reviews are a major factor in consumers’ purchase decisions. If your business is listed on Facebook, make sure the Review button is enabled, and be active in responding to both positive and negative reviews posted by customers on your Facebook page.