Tap into the power of social media by getting more reviews on Facebook.
Wait… Facebook is not even a review site. So why is getting more reviews on Facebook important?
It’s true. When Facebook launched in 2004, it was a sort of online college yearbook. It had a few student users, and consumer reviews were not on the radar at all.
But now, as the world’s largest social networking site, Facebook has morphed into a cultural phenomenon with incredible global impact. The site has over 1.3 billion daily active users and has claimed the number 2 position behind Google in terms of traffic volume.
In the US, most people who use the Internet also use Facebook. This means that almost any business can benefit from having a positive presence on this undisputed leader among social networking sites. Successful marketing in the 21st century means getting more reviews on Facebook than your competitors.
Facebook connects customers with businesses.
Because well over 80% of all Facebook users fall in the key consumer demographic of 18-49 years of age, the importance of creating and properly leveraging a Facebook Business Page cannot be overstated. Running an effective Facebook marketing strategy is crucial, particularly for small businesses operating in competitive local environments.
In fact, Facebook is already used by more than 65 million businesses as a way to connect with customers. Of course Facebook is a great place to put up information about your company and conduct general customer engagement and outreach campaigns. But you can also produce solid ROMI by using Facebook as a place to generate and display customer reviews.
Revving up a social media search engine.
The affordances offered by Facebook have expanded nearly as quickly as the site’s user base. It is now a platform that goes far beyond hosting personal profile pages.
Many people see Facebook as an important means of connecting with the world, and one of their most common uses for the site is as a search engine. In a 2016 survey, 8,000 consumers in 12 major cities across the US were asked about their daily use of digital resources. The research revealed that 44% of those who used technology to find information on local businesses during the one-week study period relied on a social network site as their search tool.
Since that time, Facebook has offered a steadily improving set of search capabilities. The site deploys proprietary technology that incorporates social media data into local search to return rich, personalized results that rival anything Google can offer.
Why getting more reviews on Facebook matters.
When people search online for information about a product or service, they view the comments and discussions on social media sites like Facebook as 21st century word-of-mouth. Online reviews are used to evaluate businesses, and a majority of consumers report that positive reviews give them more trust in a business.
In fact, today’s consumers trust online reviews just as much as they would trust a personal recommendation.
Even though it did not start out as a review site, Facebook is quickly gaining ground toward becoming one of the most popular places to find and post business reviews. The BrightLocal 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey shows that Facebook now ties review specialty site Yelp as a trusted source for business reviews.
Most consumers who use Facebook to look for information about businesses already have a profile page and are comfortable with the interface. Therefore, it is simple for them to navigate to a business page or use the check in function to leave an online review.
Social media is having an increasingly powerful influence on the way consumers locate and choose local businesses to serve their needs. Your business’s social media presence and associated comments, reviews, and ratings make all the difference when it comes to standing out from the competition.
As the leading social network site, Facebook must be the focus of a significant share of your online marketing efforts. You need to prioritize the generation and management of a solid stream of positive Facebook ratings and reviews. Here’s how to get started on getting more reviews on Facebook for your business.
Strategies for getting more reviews on Facebook.
For the purpose of this brief guide, we are going to assume that your company already has a Facebook Business Page. If that is indeed the case, you also need to ensure that reviews are enabled on your Business Page.
If you have a public address listed on your business page, reviews should be automatically enabled. Look on the left side of the page. If reviews are not listed, go into Settings and look under the General tab. Scroll to the Reviews section and make sure reviews are allowed. With basic setup taken care of, let’s look at some specific strategies for getting more reviews on Facebook.
Just ask. Simple, right? You would be surprised how many people overlook this. There are many different ways to put forward requests for Facebook reviews of your business. They range from simple and straightforward to creative, with variation according to the type of business or service in question.
The most obvious way is to ask customers person-to-person if they would be willing to post reviews of your business on Facebook. If you provide the type of service where you regularly interface with customers or clients, finding an opportunity to ask should be easy.
In other cases, you may have to make arrangements that allow you some customer contact time, or train your managers and/or employees how and when to ask. Anyone who deals directly with clients should be trained in ways to ask for Facebook reviews, and made aware of the importance of maintaining a solid review stream. You should also consider ways of incentivizing employees to ask for reviews.
Another common strategy is to use digital and print media to run request campaigns. Along with organizing dedicated email campaigns, include requests and links in blog posts and other online communications, in email signatures, and as part of online forms. Take full advantage of badges and plugins like the Facebook Reviews WordPress plugin wherever possible.
Make sure to include direct, concise Call to Actions that let your customers know exactly what you are asking for. Display past reviews and other user-generated content along with a CTA that encourages customers to leave a review. Also make sure to have print signage at key locations around your place of business, and put reminder notes on bills, invoices, business cards and other customer-facing printed materials.
Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to ask. Most customers react positively to a show of genuine interest in their feedback.
Ask customers to check in. If you run a location-based business, you can encourage customers to use the Facebook Check In feature. A check in is easier to request than a review, and it is a way to avoid any problems in areas where regulations may prohibit requesting or incentivizing reviews. Users check in on their own to share places and things that they enjoy, but it never hurts to remind customers to check in with verbal requests, signage, or incentives like discount coupons, upgrades, or small gifts.
Checking in is done by clicking What’s on your mind? at the top of the News Feed or Profile Page and clicking to select or search for a nearby location. Geo-tagging is then used to share a location tag with the user’s post. Users can tag friends, set a date for the story, add photos and emoticons, and choose an audience for the post. In a day or two, Facebook will place a review request in the user’s feed based on their check-in.
Make the most of customer-centric media. Facebook users look for personal, non-commercial experiences on the site. As consumers, they relate to and trust the experiences of past customers and easily distinguish between staged ad content and genuine, candid, user-generated material.
Facebook research reveals that click-through rate increases by 300% when user-generated content is included in Facebook ads, and cost-per-click and cost-per-acquisition costs are lowered by 50%. So, while text reviews are effective, don’t overlook the fact that a majority of consumers report that visual content in the form of authentic customer photos and videos is the most influential factor when it comes to purchase decisions. A core component of your Facebook review generation campaign should be the implementation of strategies aimed at collecting and leveraging customer-generated media.
Be responsive. In addition to their value as a marketing tool, reviews offer you a great opportunity to interact with your customers. Respond to as many reviews as you can. A sincere thank you is nice but at least give a Like to every review. Use the information in reviews to learn what you are doing right and what could use some improvement.
If customers report having negative experiences, you should get in touch with them and make efforts to put things right. And never delete negative reviews. If you do and anyone notices, the result could be a perception of dishonesty and lack of transparency. It’s far better to apologize for what went wrong and address the issue. If a solution is impossible, ask the customer to contact you via private message or email. Then you might have a chance to work something out beyond the public view. You should be able to minimize damage at the very least, but when done correctly, your response to a negative review can work as positive PR.
Get some help. It takes time and effort to learn how to promote Facebook reviews. You might want to consider bringing in some specialized expertise and time-saving tools to help you build and manage an effective Facebook review generation campaign for your company. If you are investing in the development of a productive online presence for your business, there is no reason to neglect this aspect, because the statistics show that it will likely produce the strongest ROMI of any marketing tactic.
Take a look at an easy-to-use software tool suite like Capture Review to see how simple it can be to monitor and manage your review stream. The right tools will let you maximize your Facebook review generation efforts. You can also improve the results you get on Google, Yelp, and other key review sites. Most importantly, you will have a chance to minimize the damage that customers with complaints might cause.
Start getting more reviews on Facebook and generate buzz for your business.
The social media revolution is here to stay, and no online marketing strategy can be fully successful if it ignores the power of Facebook. In the realm of local search, all indications are signaling that Facebook will soon rival Google. Build a steady stream of great Facebook ratings and reviews for your business and it will quickly result in a similar stream of customers to your door. Take steps to put your business ahead of the game now by putting together an effective strategy for getting more reviews on Facebook.