Businesses relied heavily on word-of-mouth marketing before the days of Twitter and Facebook. But rather than replace personal recommendations, the global adoption of social media has made word-of-mouth marketing much more prevalent and actionable for businesses.
Today, marketers can monitor, measure, and interact with consumer recommendations. And with more than 1.3 billion members, Facebook is now home to a wealth of data around customers and businesses.
Although members could post about businesses for quite some time, the social network only began allowing members to officially rate them on a five-star scale back in early 2012. At the time, however, those ratings weren’t prominently displayed, making it difficult for businesses leverage positive online reviews. But in November 2013, Facebook put the ratings front and center on Facebook Pages, making them a very important element of your Facebook presence.
While there are obvious benefits to having your rating and reviews prominently displayed on your Page, some admins have found that the feature makes it more difficult for them to effectively manage their presence. Here’s more information about Facebook’s Rating and Reviews feature to help you determine if it’s right for your business.
How Ratings and Reviews Can Help
Many marketers rely on Facebook Likes as a way to gauge interest in and happiness with their business. But while Likes are a popular metric to track, they’re quite ambiguous in nature.
The number of Likes something has can indicate a popular mindset, but not necessarily sentiment. And while comments help to paint a clearer picture, not everyone leaves them, and more importantly, they’re not as easy or fast to digest as a visual rating.
Star ratings not only make it easier for people to discover great businesses, but the feature also encourages more people to rate businesses on the social network. Those posts are then eligible to appear in News Feed where they can help more consumers discover businesses they didn’t know about previously.
Monitoring your ratings and responding to reviews can show your customers that you’re dedicated to social customer care. Earlier this year, Facebook gave Page admins the ability to respond to public reviews as the Page itself.
This has created a lot of opportunity for consistent engagement among businesses and customers. For example, you can respond quickly to negative reviews and resolve issues before they become major pain points. Additionally, you can thank customers for their positive feedback.
How Ratings and Reviews Can Hurt
One of the biggest complaints from businesses regarding the ratings system is that ratings can be left anonymously. When someone adds a rating to your Page, that person can select an audience. So if they add a star rating and select Friends as the audience, then only their friends can see that rating/review. This, in turn, allows for discrepancies between your overall rating and the rating that is visible on your Page.
Your Page’s star rating (which is displayed above your Like count) is the average of all public star ratings that your Page has received. Let’s say that you’ve received 50 five-star ratings but only 10 of those are public. Your displayed average will only consider 10 out of 50, letting any two- or one-star ratings weigh down your average.
As you can see, the overall star rating doesn’t always give visitors an accurate description of what customers think about your business.
How You Can Reduce Discrepancy
Well for starters, only businesses with a defined location have access to star ratings. This means that unless your business has a physical address listed on its Facebook Page you won’t be able to turn on the feature. If you’re a local business and wish to turn off the feature, you can do so by accessing your Settings and unchecking the box next to “Show map, check-ins, and star ratings on the Page.”
That said, if people are unhappy with some element of your business, they’ll find a way to make it known. It’s better that they have a controlled environment in which to vent so you have the opportunity to get involved and turn a skeptic into a loyal customer.
And while you can’t control whether someone leaves a public review or selects a limited audience, you can encourage loyal fans to contribute in other ways.
For example, a quick video testimonial from a happy customer can be uploaded to your Page’s Timeline, where it will be seen by anyone who visits your Page, as well as others through the News Feed. Anyone who engages with this post will only help to increase visibility as it will be shown to their networks as well.
And while it won’t stop haters from hating, it’ll help counteract some of the discrepancy Although it won’t stop haters from hating, it’ll help counteract some of the rating discrepancy.
For more information about Facebook’s rating and review feature, including details on how to turn it on or remove it, visit the Pages With Locations thread in Help Center.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.
How do you go about getting a fake review removed. Tried and talked with lawyer. Only solution was to sue for defamation at $40,000. There needs to be a way to get fake reviews removed.
This is a little ironic, considering Sprout Social's own monitoring tool doesn't monitor Page Reviews.
@Tod Maffin Hey Tod! Our readers aren't exclusively Sprout Social customers, so our blog covers news, tips and how-tos on the social media industry as a whole. We know marketers like to stay in-the-know about what's going on in the space (even if they may not be active on a particular network) and we love to highlight how businesses are using social in unique and creative ways.
If you'd like to peruse our product-focused articles, click 'Articles' at the top of the page and select 'Product Updates'.
Thanks for stopping by!
1. When will Sprout Social support monitoring Page Reviews?
2. When will Sprout Social support in-line Facebook comment replies?
Both of which, according to Sprout Social people, are available right now under Facebook's API, but development over there seems to have stalled. These are two pretty critical components for a social brand manager to have.
And, to add insult to injury, Sprout Social just boosted the price of its packages significantly without adding either of these two.
So, when will you support either or both of the above?
@Tod Maffin While I totally understand that those features would be useful for you and can see how they would fit nicely into Sprout's feature-set, I still don't have any news or dates to share yet.
APIs certainly play a part in what our team is able to integrate, but are not the only factor. There are a number of features we'd love to add and are working through our roadmap to get to them as quickly as we can. That said, we want to maintain the high level of quality that our customers expect.
And while those two features weren't built before we restructured our plans, we have continued to expand our offering – from the Trends Report to an overhauled iOS app to a stronger and faster backend system and more. We value our customers who've stuck with us and supported us along the way, so your grandfathered plan won't see any price change.
So, I understand your frustration, but hope that you're as excited as our team is about the future of Sprout. We're looking forward to more awesome things to come. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and pushing us to be better!
@Brit at Sprout Social @Tod Maffin I use Sprout to post, engage and report not to monitor reviews. That is a totally different animal that would fall under more of a "Reputation" tool. I currently utilize one that does pull Facebook reviews along with many other sites. Let me know if you'd like some help finding the right tool.