Gone are the days when people blindly believed what a business had to say. Now, they ask other consumers about their experience before deciding to buy a product or service.
Google and Facebook reviews are a prime source for people looking to know more about a business. But just how big is their influence? According to a survey, more than 80 percent of people turn to online reviews before going to a local business. If your customers are in the 18-34 bracket, listen up — more than 90 percent of them swear by online reviews.
When it comes to reviews, Google and Facebook are leading the pack. That’s where people are talking about their buying experiences. That’s where prospective customers are seeking unbiased opinions.
But in the Google vs Facebook review analysis, which one has more power? Which one should you focus on? Which is better for small businesses?
Whether it’s to locate a nearby dentist or find the best local takeaway, Google is who the world turns to. It’s the emperor of search and one you cannot afford to ignore. Just how powerful is Google, by the way?
For consumers, it’s the number one destination to look for reviews. 63 percent of people turn to Google reviews to check out businesses. The search engine is the home of more than 57 percent of all online reviews.
Importantly, Google is aggressively taking on other apps that are specifically targeted for certain sectors. And the results are beginning to show. Recently, TripAdvisor had to let go of around 200 people due to increased competition from the search engine giant. Unlike websites used solely for reviews, Google has the power and leverage of also being a search engine. As you're about to find out, this is invaluable for your business.
Why are Google reviews important for small businesses?
Google reviews are intrinsically linked to local SEO. As a small business owner, you know the importance of localised search to your business. Without good local SEO performance, prospective customers in your locality won’t find you.
What’s worse, they will find your competition.
There’s a whole lot to know about Google reviews, but the one aspect you should focus on is the importance of its local search feature. When someone wants to search for Chinese food or weekend Yoga classes, Google knows that they are looking for options near them.
One of the factors that helps the search engine decide which business should rank higher is their Google reviews. If you own a local business, you must focus on getting more reviews. One of the best ways is to send your customers a direct link to review your business.
You should actively encourage your existing customers to leave reviews. These days, there are apps that can help you manage every aspect, from requesting reviews to managing them and replying. It couldn't be simpler.
Of course, there are also unscrupulous ways to do it, like buying reviews, which you should steer clear of. The best way forward is through authentic reviews.
With more users than the population of China, Facebook is the biggest platform on the planet. And everyone on Facebook, as you know by now, has an opinion. This matters to the more than 40 million small businesses on the social media platform.
Through Pages, Facebook makes it incredibly easy for you to connect with your audiences. Pages also let customers check out your products, services, and your social media engagement. This will slowly compound into an online identity for your business.
If Google reviews are from anonymous individuals, your business’s reviews on Facebook will be seen as coming from people your customers can relate to. Maybe it’s someone in their locality, family, or a friend.
This is the reason why you should build and systematically manage your business's Facebook Page. Even if the number of followers is limited in the early stages, remember that even those who don’t follow will be able to see the reviews.
Remember that on Facebook, it takes time to build a brand persona. If you're wondering where to get started, we've put together a guide of everything you need to know about Facebook for business.
Differences between Google and Facebook reviews
One of the biggest differences between Google and FB reviews is that the latter can be more detailed. Someone who likes your service can write a long-form review praising you, while a disgruntled customer can also take their time to get into the details.
The second difference is that on Facebook, it is very common for people to upload photographs or videos to corroborate their story. This also makes them credible. Thirdly, on FB, a review can soon turn into a discussion that will get others involved. All these things can be good or bad, depending on the topic at hand.
Which one should you choose?
As a local business owner, you should ideally choose both. You must understand that both serve slightly different purposes. Google reviews are tied in with SEO which will help your rankings. While FB reviews require more detailed work to build a follower base.
One shouldn’t be a substitute for the other.
As a small business owner, whether you are running a salon, medical service, or a supermarket, it’s more important than ever that you focus on getting your online reputation right. Old school advertising won’t do. Almost 75 percent of people actively avoid advertising.
If search is how consumers find you, reviews are how they decide whether to buy from you.
Be it Google or Facebook, reviews are an invaluable asset for small businesses. When they're good, they're golden. But even the bad ones can help your business. There really isn't many a scenario where a review is so bad for business that it should be deleted.
So whether you choose Google review, Facebook reviews, or some crafty combination of the two, you can be confident that your efforts will guarantee a return on investment. More publicity, more footfall, and ultimately, more sales. Go get those stars!
Here's a quick guide on setting up a successful Facebook Page as a small business.