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Reviews are a vital part of a business’ online presence, especially as more and more customers are spending their time—and their money—on the world wide web. They represent a kind of implied endorsement (or rebuke) of a company’s product, work, service, etc. In some areas of the internet, businesses can control these reviews by hiding or replying to them. In others, not so much.
That one-star review that’s been bugging you on your Facebook business page is soon going to be a thing of the past though, as Facebook and other reviewing platforms begin to move toward a new “recommendation” system. Gone are the gray-area days of three-star reviews. A simple thumbs up or thumbs down allows the user to recommend or not recommend a business online. Facebook is converting their old star reviews into the new system. Now, three-star and above will show up as a recommendation, and one- and two-star reviews will eventually no longer be shown.
This is pretty big news for companies fretting over those outlier reviews from disgruntled employees and crazy customers with an axe to grind. It’s also much simpler for users, and more likely that they’ll take the time to click a “yes” on the question of “Do you recommend this business?” The more recommendations your business has, the healthier it is in the online review game.
The same benefits of the star-system apply—higher ranking on search engines, improved click-through rates, trust-building with potential customers, etc.—and most of the public-facing negatives go away. Facebook users will still see recommendations from their friends, and customers checking in at your business location or those who are presented with your brand in their timelines will be prompted to recommend you as well.
Facebook has also stated that new recommendations will be weighted more heavily than older ones, which is another big plus if your online presence went through a rough patch sometime in the past.
This is all part of Facebook’s effort to bring more value (and thus keep you spending ad dollars with them) to their platform for businesses, but something that others such as YouTube (thumbs up, thumbs down) have been doing for quite awhile. With online reviews becoming a huge part of SEO and overall business strategies, it’s certainly a welcome update.
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