In today's modern age, 90 percent of consumers search the internet to find local businesses that will offer the best service available and which of them should be avoided. Regardless of the type of business being searched, online reviews have been shown to have a massive impact on a consumer's purchase decision. 

Customer reviews are pivotal to the success of any business. For instance, reviews show that the business has some credibility backing it up. A business that enables customers to leave reviews on their websites shows a much more transparent and trustworthy company in the eyes of future customers.

The importance of Facebook.

Facebook has become one of the most important sites for businesses who want to gain an online presence in the business world. With hundreds of millions of people visiting Facebook, businesses cannot ignore the massive potential to connect with customers, respond to their queries and concerns, share upcoming sales and catalogs, share news and announcements, set up Call to Action buttons that drive engagement, and develop attention through its sharing and likes functions. 

Facebook has long lost its place as a simple social site to connect with friends and family. It has transformed itself into a bridge for local businesses to conduct a more seamless connection with its consumers. 

If a business has not managed to set up its own Facebook page or simply stopped monitoring the account, then it's undoubtedly missing out on some serious potential feedback from customers and failing to impress potential consumers who are judging the business based on its reviews. 

When a potential customer searches a company, usually through Google, they will find all sorts of information on the business on the right side of the display page, including contact information, operating hours, and links to social media profiles. Additionally, it displays any review made on the business, including from Facebook. This means that any time a customer searches through Google for further information on a business, they will see a rating out of five. By clicking the rating, they will instantly be taken to the company's Facebook page, where they can then read the detailed reviews left by previous customers. 

Rating system. 

First of all, Facebook reviews can be written on any local business page, by any Facebook user, at any time and are available for the public to view. The overall rating system can be seen on the left panel of the page, under the business's name, showing either a high or low score associated with the business. If the rating is four stars or above, 90 percent of potential customers are likely to use your business. For three-star ratings, this means only 70 percent of potential customers will use the business. A measly two stars show only 25 percent are likely to visit the business. It's pretty obvious to recognize the decline of trust a business may have when their ratings are at an all-time low. 

Businesses cannot allow a low Facebook rating to affect their revenue. Give customers a reason why they should take the time to scroll down the page after they've been impressed by the powerful five-star rating. 

Handling negative Facebook reviews.

Facebook reviews need to be monitored on a daily basis and responded to immediately. Whether the review is positive or negative, customers will expect to receive answers. Responding to negative reviews allows a business to turn the customer's negative experience into a more positive one. These types of feedback should be taken seriously and an investigation on their experience should be conducted. Ultimately, this will lead to potential consumers being impressed by the business’s care for their customer's experience and give them confidence in the business’s ability to make things right.

In response to a more positive review, thank the customers for their business and personalize the response as much as possible. This kind of response will demonstrate a business’s appreciation for their honest feedback and increase the chance of them becoming a repeating customer.

Customers prefer Facebook reviews.

While other review sites such as Google, TripAdvisor and Yelp are just as significant, Facebook is much easier for customers to review their favorite local businesses. They are likely to be one of the 156 million Americans that have a Facebook account and it's one of the simplest ways to write up a review on the spot. Whilst not everyone will have their own Gmail account to write a review, and setting one up can be frustrating to most (especially those who are tech-illiterate).

Facebook is likely be the very first place a customer will search a business to write a review directly to the Facebook page with important feedback. Potential customers will be able to view any post made by other customers and will undoubtedly become influenced by the review. For instance, " The steak I ordered from this place the previous night was overcooked and gave me a stomach ache", will influence and probably convince potential customers to go somewhere else for delicious steak. 

Facebook reviews VS. Google reviews

In recent years, potential customers are increasingly using Google and Facebook as their go-to source for reviews on local businesses. Knowing this, a business can have a difficult time choosing which of these two platforms would be more beneficial for them to manage and prioritize, especially for a smaller business that is run by a small team. One solution to this is to compare the functionality of each of these platforms and deciding which can be fully utilized. 

Google

Google reviews will affect a business’s local SEO by dictating which businesses searchers will see first. For instance, if a person recently arrived in a new city and is searching for a place to eat, they may search for “Chinese restaurants near me” from their smartphone. They might also factor certain criteria into the search, such as the distance between themselves and the restaurant and the overall star rating given based on the reviews left by previous customers. This is primarily how most mobile searches for businesses will be conducted by the average person.

Facebook

While Google may hold dominance over the internet with its massive available content, research studies have shown that most consumers prefer to leave reviews on Facebook. A large number of people utilize Facebook as their primary source for content due to its easy access to news, shopping, and social connection available in a single platform.

The fantastic thing about having customers leave their reviews on a Facebook page is the seamless interaction with business owners and having a large audience of potential customers able to view those interactions. It offers an opportunity for the business to personalize their brand identity. Facebook reviews connect with Google as well, so any valuable content isn’t being lost.

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