Facebook is testing a new Page feature and displaying stars front and center on Business Pages. You may have seen it on some of your favorite pages. Not all facebook users can see this feature and not all pages have stars prominently featured on their page. Who knows the test may not launch fully, but in the meantime Page owners are taking notice.
What we do ‘like’ is that this could be an advantage for small and locally owned businesses. Since many locally owned businesses lack a huge number of likes, this gives visitors an opportunity to see ratings prominently rather than judge by # of fans. Local and smaller businesses often struggle with increasing ‘likes’. Small budgets for facebook ad’s, contest apps and marketing dollars to promote their page and increase likes. We advise our clients to put the focus on their target market and 'real' ‘likes’ and less worry about the number. Our page and our clients pages have real people that genuinely like our page (and our business). Many have shopped or bought products and services from or plan to. With a ratings system this may minimize the battle of wanting a higher number over quality followers. Don't get me wrong...we strive to increase 'likes' and connect with potential (and current) customers, but it's not our main focus - quality connections over quantity.
What we don’t like is the automatic 3.5 star rating given by facebook when in fact a page has no recommendations yet. One of our clients has one star rating of 5, yet facebook shows only 4 prominently featured. Another has four 5 star ratings and a 3.5 star featured listing. The star rating should be an actual star rating based on real page recommendations and not randomly given by facebook. Perhaps this is a glitch in their test and will be fixed. We sure hope so!
A few other lingering thoughts on the new ratings feature...
- Will admins be able to ‘hide’ reviews they don’t like once this star rating goes live on all pages? Currently admins can ‘hide’ a non favorable review.
- Will facebook allow “Reply to” each review and rating? Owners should be able to thank or defend themselves. It would also be nice if fans could reply to reviews as well. Even the best businesses have an occasional hater out there that keeps posting. Which leads me to my final question...
- Currently page admins can ‘block’ someone from participating with their page. This is great for disgruntled employees and that ever nagging hater that won’t forgive and move on, or people that haven't even used your products and grumble for odd reasons. (Two, of our clients, have a few haters that dislike a radio station my clients advertising on. Will their bad reviews affect the rating even though they've never used these clients products or services? Will these ‘blocked’ people be removed along with their review? Does this skew results if so?
While we wait and see what Facebook does with the new Ratings test you can do something. Ask your customers to support your business by making a recommendation on facebook. Also, don’t forget to support your favorite pages by recommending. Don't spend too much time as this could pass in an instant.