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A big change to Facebook reviews announced last week.

Have you noticed a change on your business Facebook page?  Last week saw a big change to Facebook reviews as they moved to a new “recommendation” format and away from the standard 5-star rating.  Facebook has switched off the ability to leave reviews, switching to a yes/no recommendation option instead.

At the moment, Facebook is still showing the previous 5-star ratings the business has and also features content letting you know about the change from reviews to recommendations.

According to Facebook, the reason for the change is to reduce fake reviews.  With this update, Facebook announced that authenticity is a priority and users and Facebook page owners will be able to easily report the new recommendations for nine different reasons including spam and harassment.

Research published by Fan & Fuel* reports that consumers not only want to see reviews on your products and services, but they also look for the detail in your customer feedback. Potential customers are interested in learning about both the experiences and any problems customers have had, how the company has responded to complaints, and whether the product or service lived up to expectations.

According to their data: –

  • 97% of participants said customer reviews factor into their buying decisions
  • 92% of consumers hesitate to make a purchase when there are no customer reviews
  • 94% read reviews when they are available

*https://fanandfuel.com/no-online-customer-reviews-means-big-problems-2017/

  • And, on average, reviews produce an 18% uplift in sales**

**https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them

Reviews and feedback are an important deciding factor for many customers buying online and in store. Reviews help to build trust between the customer and the business.

A good number of positive reviews help build immediate trust that will ultimately convert casual online visitors to actual paying customers.

So, it might be time for businesses to look at other review options, especially given that according to a recent survey from Brightlocal.com:

  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

Hubspot has a great article here which compares 22 different customer review sites.

I use trustpilot.com which is a fast-growing, community-driven consumer review platform based in Denmark.  Trustpilot works with companies all over the world to proactively collect customer reviews. The customers who product and seller reviews, whick keeps it third-party verified.

Trustpilot has a basic, free version which lets businesses create a profile page and collect customer reviews. The paid versions enable customisable review invitations, share ratings and reviews on social media.

The other platform to consider is the Google my Business listings.

Google’s Pigeon algorithm update uses distance and location ranking parameters to deliver improved local search results.

For a business website to be properly optimised for search, set up a verified account. Getting reviews, comments and pictures, especially on Google, can give businesses a boost in search. Only verified local Google+ pages can respond to reviews.

Google Maps will pull that information and reviews into search results, so having plenty of content is a good thing to do.

So, which do you use now?  And will you move away from encouraging your customers to leave a Facebook recommendation?  I’d love to know in the comments!

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