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Written by
Shaina Tennant
12 Apr 2021
5 minutes

The Facebook Review became the Facebook Recommendation — what's the difference?

The former Facebook Reviews has evolved into Facebook Recommendations. What’s the difference, and is it better?
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The former Facebook Reviews has evolved into Facebook Recommendations. Facebook confirmed that the change was to make it easier for people to share recommendations about businesses. So, what’s the difference, and is it better?

The former Facebook Review

With Facebook Review, users could write about their experience with a business – good or bad – and give the company a 1-5 star rating. Once rated, the business was eligible to appear in the news feed. The point was to help users find new businesses and to help businesses boost their brand awareness.

Star ratings were incorporated into the business’s Facebook EdgeRank. This is an algorithm that calculates where a post would place within the news feeds, if at all. The star ratings on a Facebook review influenced EdgeRank, which in turn, impacted organic reach and brand visibility.

The upshot on Facebook Recommendations

With Facebook Recommendations, the 1-5 star rating is replaced with a direct yes/no response to “do you recommend this business?” Once the customer answers, a text box opens, prompting them to provide specific feedback before posting their recommendation. They can also add a photo.

Customers can choose for their recommendation to be posted as public or just for certain other users. Anyone within that business’s network can comment on the recommendation. Business owners can also give feedback on the recommendation.

As a business owner, you can choose to receive a Facebook notification each time someone leaves a recommendation. You can also opt-in for an email notification. You can, if you wish, remove recommendations from your Facebook page, although there’s really no reason why you would want to.

Without ratings to calculate a score, Facebook decides the score based on previous reviews and ratings and the number of visitors who do or don’t recommend your service. Your old reviews are still accounted for, though not all of them will be visible to visitors.

Why Facebook Recommendations are important for your business

Having good reviews and recommendations online is good no matter what business you’re in, but having them on Facebook is particularly valuable for building a social media presence. Having positive reviews and recommendations on Facebook will significantly boost your chances of attracting new customers because online recommendations build trust.

Facebook Recommendations will benefit your business in several ways:

  • Interaction with your followers: Recommendations are more interactive than the old review system. Your customers have the option of adding a photo or GIF along with their text. These will be displayed with the post in your business page’s recommendations section.
  • Information from and for your customers: As well as a review and photo, your customers are also invited to choose a tag that best describes their recommendation. Facebook generates the tags based on words and phrases used in previous reviews.

    Examples of tags are “good food,” “free Wi-Fi,” “excellent products.” The tags act like hashtags for your company and make it easy for prospective customers to see the highlights of your business.
  • Improve organic reach: Businesses noticing that their organic reach was beginning to dwindle with Facebook Reviews saw an uptick with Recommendations. One of the main reasons for this is that Recommendations show up when people search for businesses. The business’ recommendation score will also be visible.

How to encourage customers to leave recommendations

Did you know that 70% of customers will leave you a review for your business if you just go ahead and ask them to? So, don’t be shy about asking. Here’s how you can request a recommendation:

  • Add a Facebook button to follow-up emails: Once you’ve done business with a customer, it’s a good time to send them an automated review email and ask them to recommend your business on Facebook. Adding a Facebook button gives them easy access to the right place. Remember to tell them that it’s optional.
  • Create incentives for people to visit: There’s nothing like incentives to drive people to your page and they will often leave a recommendation before leaving. Possible incentives include a small discount, a social sweepstake, or a Facebook poll about new product/service ideas.
  • Post a call-to-action: You can post a call-to-action on your business webpage that will link directly to your Facebook business page. It’s a quick and easy way to jog visitors’ memories and build up those valuable recommendations.
  • Use surveys to get recommendations: Sometimes customers don’t have time to leave a review or they just don’t know what to say. You can help to inspire them by offering them a brief survey. This gives you a chance to engage with them and find out how you’re doing.

In short

If you’re a small business owner getting started on Facebook, there’re a few things you should know about Facebook Reviews — including the fact that they have moved over to being Facebook Recommendations, which has only increased the value of this online review platform.

Chances are, many of your current and potential customers are on Facebook. There’s an opportunity for you to build a community hub for your customers here, as it’s a one-stop-shop for them to see pictures of your businesses and products, interact with you and other customers, as well as leaving and reading reviews.

Building up a bank of Facebook recommendations is a great way to boost your businesses and there’s more than one way you go about encouraging customers to leave reviews. Why not get creative and see what happens?

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