This Facebook Update Will Change Business Reviews Forever

A few days ago Facebook announced a new feature called “Save for Later”. It does exactly what its name suggests: allows users to save links from their feed.

Another change that got less attention is the way places are displayed on mobile. When users on Facebook tag a place in their post, a map of the place is displayed (unless the post also has a photo, in which case the photo is displayed instead of a map). Recently, a new section was added below the map showing the place’s name, logo and overall Facebook review rating.

Here’s a before and after:

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The change is retroactive too. If you look at posts from the past, they now display the new format.

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The same post on Nov. 21st 2013 and what it looks like today.

So what does this mean for businesses?

1. Your Facebook rating is front and center
Many more people will now see it. Facebook Places have been relatively ignored by businesses. Most have placed more emphasis on their Google Places, Yelp or Tripadvisor listings. However, while you weren’t looking Facebook has amassed an impressive body of reviews. You can no longer afford to ignore your Facebook reviews as they will show up in customer feeds whenever their friends tag or check in to your establishment.

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With the new places box, your overall rating is front and center.

2. Your Facebook reviews are much more accessible
Clicking on the review panel leads the user to the place’s profile where they can learn more about the business and read through reviews. In some cases, they can even make a reservation directly from Facebook. Customers can quickly read about your business without leaving Facebook meaning each individual review on Facebook has a higher likelihood than ever before to be read – especially when it’s by friends of the reader. The exact algorithm Facebook is using to display reviews is unclear at this time. In some places we’ve seen them show up chronologically, meaning that you’re only as good as your last performance. In other cases, very old reviews showed up first. Presumably, this has to do with the level of engagement with the review, but we don’t know for sure. One thing is certain: reviews from the friends of the user are shown first and naturally people trust reviews from friends more. Friends of your customers are also more likely to be from the same area, hence in your target market.

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The Places page on Facebook has been around for a while but it will now be much more accessible. Notice how much information is available about the business, how friends’ interactions with the business are emphasized and that reviews from friends and strangers are readily available.

3. Potential customers can save your place for later
Take a look at the places display box again. Clicking on the ribbon on the right changes its color from gray to blue and adds it to the Facebook user’s “saved places”. It’s as easy as clicking one button. This is actually great news for businesses. An endorsement from a friend is the best recommendation a business could hope for. The exposure your business could get to your customer’s Facebook friends is enormous. That is as long as your ratings are high. No one will click “save” on a business that has low ratings.

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To the right of the rating, there’s a gray ribbon. Clicking on it, turns the ribbon blue and adds the place to the user’s “saved places” list.

The takeaways:
– Your Facebook rating is much more important than it used to be.
– The new Facebook Places display box can be your best friend but only if you keep ratings high.

What to do:
– Make sure to prevent negative reviews, whether they are official Facebook reviews or just comments people make as they tag your place.
– If you have a high rating on Facebook, encourage customers to take photos and check in when they come to your establishment.
– Ask customers who are happy with you to write a Facebook review or a flattering post.

OwnerListens can help with all three of those challenges. Contact us to learn more.

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