If you haven’t noticed lately, the Facebook review platform is getting a makeover. A notification feature is rolling out to users who check into the places they go. Within 24 hours after checking into a location, Facebook will ask you to review and share your experience about the place you visited.
Consumers tend to check into businesses because they want their friends to know what they are experiencing. Most of us like to share our experiences and social media is a great place to do it. Whatever our experience is, from finally landing that great new job to our pain when a loved one is sick, sharing makes us feel better.
The new Facebook review platform could be the Yelp killer.
Yelp does a good job of recognizing a few consistent reviewers by rewarding them with Yelp Elite status. Many of these Elite users wear their “status” as a badge of honor and it often motivates them to review more.
However, the average users (which is a far greater group of people) see their reviews get banished to the “not recommended” section of a business’ profile. Good reviews, that took a lot of effort to create (and for a business to acquire), often go unseen.
FACT: 90% of consumers read reviews. 6% write them.
The reality is…most of us turn to Yelp for one of two things:
- To get information and/or read reviews.
- To write negative reviews when we’ve been mistreated and want to be heard.
This is why so many good businesses end up with an average of 3-stars or less. The only way for a business to combat this is to set up funnels that guide customers who have positive feedback to Yelp.
For customers to write about a positive experience, one of these three things must happen:
- They need to have had an experience that completely wowed them beyond belief.
- They must be motivated to go after earning Yelp Elite.
- They must be asked by the business to write a review.
Even your best customers, when asked why they didn’t leave a positive review, say, “I forgot.” “I never thought to do so.” or “It’s just too difficult.”
Consequently, this Yelp situation creates an inaccurate picture of what the real, true life experience is with each business.
The new Facebook review platform rights this ship by keeping it simple.
- We go to Facebook every day. It’s become a place where we get our news, connect with friends, share great info and even use it as a distraction when waiting in line somewhere.
- Users check-in and within 24 hours, the new review notifications appear directly in user’s newsfeeds.
- No matter how busy you are, you always have something to say about a business you visited and now you have the chance to say it.
- This pushes the review process front and center, whether you were thinking about writing a review or not.
- In time, reviews will become more accurate than Yelp.
This increases the chance of more reviews that tell the true story. It means that if you had a good experience that didn’t wow you, you’ll still share it. If you had a moderate experience that was neither pleasant nor bad, you’ll share what you went through.
It eliminates the excuses of “I forgot.” “I never thought to do so.” or “It’s just too difficult.”
And Facebook keeps it even more simple by forgoing the need to write out a review. If you’re not ready to spill, all you need do is click the number of stars and move on. You can always go back and edit.
How to Make the New Facebook Review Platform Work for Your Business
1. REVIEW THE CURRENT STATE OF YOUR CUSTOMER’S EXPERIENCE.
- Have you truly earned the right to a positive review?
- Are you listening or are you choosing to ignore what customers are saying?
- If things are not ideal, what are you willing to do to turn things around?
2. VERIFY YOUR PAGE.
Verified Facebook pages show up first in search results. The “check mark” represents credibility and lets users know this is the correct business to check into.
If your Page’s category is Local Businesses or Companies & Organizations, your Page may be eligible for a gray verification badge. If you’re an admin, your Page has a profile picture and cover photo, and is eligible, you’ll see this option in your Page’s Settings. To verify your Page, you can use your business’ publicly listed phone number or a business document (ex: phone bill).
To verify your Page:
- Click Settings at the top of your Page
- From General, click Page Verification
- Click Verify this Page, then click Get Started
- Enter a publicly listed phone number for your business, your country and language
- Click Call Me Now to allow Facebook to call you with a verification code
- Enter the 4-digit verification code and click Continue
If you prefer to verify your Page with a business document, follow the steps above and click Verify this Page with documents instead at the bottom left of the window that appears, then upload a picture of an official document showing your business’ name and address.
3. COLLECT AND MERGE DUPLICATE PAGES.
There’s nothing more frustrating than searching Facebook and having 3 or 4 pages come up with the same or similar names. If your goal is to encourage more check-ins (and get more reviews) then there should be only ONE page from which to choose.
We just took on a client who had 4 Facebook pages, ALL of which they had no access to. We’re working on merging some and deleting others but in the end, there will be only one page for this business.
4. DO A MONTHLY AUDIT OF YOUR BUSINESS ON FACEBOOK.
Even with verified pages, users can try to check into a business on Facebook and if they don’t see what they’re looking for, they can create it. If you’re an older established business who hasn’t moved into the digital era, an unofficial Facebook page may already exist for your business.
These “unofficial” pages can contain many images and text that are not suitable for your business’ image.
Every month, search for your business on Facebook and make sure these unofficial pages aren’t displaying anything about you that you never intended.
5. SET UP A SOLID REVIEW RESOLUTION PROCESS.
If you don’t have a conflict resolution process in place, get one immediately. In this world of immediate broadcasting of every life event, you need to stay on your toes with fielding customer issues.
If you already have a conflict resolution process then make sure it’s ready for social media. Communicating by phone and email have their own specific idiosyncrasies. Social media has its own language too, and it’s all public.
Choose wisely in both how you resolve issues and who does the resolving.
6. REMIND CUSTOMERS TO CHECK-IN ON FACEBOOK.
Use visual and verbal cues to remind people to check-in.
- Website banners
- Reminders upon checkout
- Smiling faces when they enter the store
- Employee badges
Because Facebook is giving each customer a voice, and a reminder to use that voice, it’s never been more important to deliver a cohesive, enjoyable customer experience.
Leverage these essentials to make the new Facebook review platform work for your business.