A few weeks ago, we wondered whether or not online reviews would soon be available on social networking site Facebook. That’s because, according to reports on AllFacebook (an unofficial Facebook blog), a new Review button began to appear on the Facebook Pages of some local businesses.
Well, it seems like the social networking giant is indeed going to be rolling out this new review feature – sooner rather than later. The Facebook review system includes a 5-star rating system, which customers can use to rate their favorite (or least favorite) local businesses. Check out the screenshots below, taken from Digital Trends:
If you’re a business owner, this means that you’re going to have to add Facebook to your list of sites for online reputation monitoring. Don’t think of this as a bad thing, though; it can actually work to your advantage. Unlike on Yelp or TripAdvisor, ratings and reviews on Facebook have an added dimension of being social: posted reviews can spread around friend networks, for example.
(Check out: “7 Smart Tips for Managing Your Online Reputation”)
Added Kate Knibbs of Digital Trends: “Proprietors could end up getting free marketing. Since Facebook reviews are good news for proprietors, they may introduce incentives for people who write Facebook reviews, which could spur popularity growth for the function. And Facebook’s Graph Search may make it easier to pull up reviews for place pages (think searching ‘Thai places with five stars in Chicago’).”
Here’s what else you, as a business owner, should know about the new Facebook reviews:
- According to the Facebook Help page for reviews, the reviews are enabled for Facebook business pages with a location. This means that, in order to enable customers to post reviews on your business’ Facebook profile, you must first add your physical address to your page.
- Only people with Facebook accounts can write a review or rate your business. They’re prompted with the question, “What do you think about this place?” Users can leave a star rating without having to write a review, though, and these ratings factor into your overall rating.
- You can’t delete individual reviews off your Facebook page. The only option you have is to disable the review feature by completely taking your address off your business page.
How do you think Facebook reviews will do against a more established reviews and ratings aggregator like Yelp? Knibbs offers her opinion:
“Facebook’s reviews are very easy to write, and if they catch on, they could seriously impinge of Yelp’s territory. Facebook may need to develop a way to rank local businesses and create ways for users to browse them according to neighborhood, category, and popularity, if it wants to mimic some of Yelp’s most valuable functionality.”