Everyone from your next door neighbour to the Prime Minister of New Zealand has a presence on Facebook. This social media machine is now the first online point of contact between your online customers and your business.
According to this study, 80 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from local businesses with positive reviews on their Facebook Page. With 1.28 billion daily active users on average and 1.94 billion monthly active users, if you’re not marketing on Facebook you are missing out on access to the world’s largest growing audience.
Don’t worry. Tapping into this network is far easier than you realise. This post explores what Facebook Reviews can offer your business and how to wield it for measurable results.
What are ‘Facebook Reviews’?
There are many ways that potential leads and current customers can communicate with your business but how they perceive you online is greatly influenced by your presence on Facebook.
Facebook Reviews is a star system where your customers can rate your service or product and leave a comment. Users can comment on each other’s reviews and talk about your business openly.
This review system appears on your business page and can be read by anyone who visits your business page. Customers can even check in at your physical address and will be prompted to leave a review when they do so. Meaning it is not only your behavior online that influences what appears there.
If you don’t have a business page on Facebook, now would be the time to set one up. But it’s only part of the equation. Simply having a presence on Facebook isn’t the same as yielding results from it.
Why Facebook reviews are important
When a potential customer reaches your Facebook page, they are in one of the following Buyer Journey stages. A simplified explanation of The Buyer Journey is as follows:
Awareness stage: In which a buyer realises they have a problem that need solving
Example: My business admin is a mess. Maybe I should hire a bookkeeper to update all of my accounts on a regular basis?
Consideration stage: Where a buyer has defined their problem and is researching options to solve it.
Example: There are so many bookkeepers in my area, who best suits my needs? Maybe I could use a different accounting software instead and just do it myself?
Decision stage: Your buyer chooses a solution and with luck, it is something your business offers.
Example: I will change to a new accounting software program and learn to do this myself. I have found the best product for me at xxxxxx.
An additional step that can result in return business is the Post-purchase stage, in which a buyer may submit an online review or decide to share feedback about a product or service they have used.
The Buyer Journey Stages engaged by Facebook reviews are the awareness, consideration and post-purchase stages, while a customer is still deciding how to solve their problem and who offers the best solution.
Good reviews on your Facebook page build confidence in your brand and give you credibility in the marketplace. A customer who can clearly see your 5 star reviews is likely to have higher confidence in your business than in those who aren’t sharing customer reviews.
It’s also not only about Facebook! When your business is Googled, a box appears on the right hand side showing the Facebook customer reviews for your site.
How to get Reviews
Setting up Facebook Reviews on your business page couldn’t be easier. Follow these simple steps to get started.
- Go to ‘Settings’ located at the top of your page.
- Click ‘Page Info’ and choose ‘Local Business’ as your Facebook Page category. (The Review feature isn’t yet available for celebrity pages.)
- You’ll then be given an option to make your business category more specific: restaurant, café, hospital or healthcare facility, hotel, etc.
- Click ‘Save changes’.
- Next, you have to add your business’ physical address or location. Again, go to ‘Settings’ and click ‘Page Info’.
- Click ‘Address’ and enter the information required, then tick the box next to ‘Show map’, ‘check-ins’, and ‘star ratings’.
- Click ‘Save changes’.
Now that you’ve set up Facebook Reviews, the work begins.
How to get customers to use it
There are a few methods you can try to get customers to start reviewing your services.
- Encourage them to check-in when they visit your physical address. They will automatically be prompted to review their experience.
- Leave a post pinned to the top of your page encouraging users to leave a review if they loved your products/services.
- Keep it interesting. Ask customers to share a favourite memory of your store or which of your products is at the top their wish list.
Now that you are getting reviews, you’ll want to manage them effectively.
Dealing with reviews
Just as positive reviews can build your brand, negative reviews can impact your reputation. Unfortunately, you can’t delete negative reviews but you can report them if they are spam or offensive in nature.
The best way to approach negative reviews is calmly. Write neutrally, don’t respond in the heat of the moment and be sure someone else has read your comment before you hit send. Attempt to move the conversation to private messaging as quickly as possible to prevent further ugliness on your reviews page.
Your good reviews will need equal attention.
When you receive a positive review, don’t post the same blanket response that you use to reply to every customer. Take the time to read your review, use the customer’s name and write a considered response to the feedback you have been given.
Your customers are telling you directly what they like about your service, what to keep doing and perhaps what to improve. Be sure to utilize this feedback to continually improve your business.
Valued customers are repeat customers, additionally, potential leads will have more confidence in your brand if they can see how well you treat those who have already purchased your product or service.
Treat your reviews as if the whole world is watching, because it is.
Make Facebook Reviews work for you
There are a few steps to getting Facebook Reviews to work for your business but the benefits are truly worth it. Remember, once you have reviews in place be sure to monitor it regularly. Stay on top of responding to all feedback in a professional and friendly manner. Encourage feedback from happy customers and you will build a long-lasting online presence.
What are people saying about your business?