Facebook Recommendations – The Pros And Cons
If you manage a Facebook business page, then you may be aware that the social media giant has now launched a new page template, designed to offer greater benefits, particularly to businesses relying on local trade.
You can opt to switch to the new template now, although if you don’t, your page will update itself anyway on 23rd August. But what can you expect to see and is it all good news?
Facebook claims that it wants to make it even easier for people to interact with local businesses and to find the services that they need most. And the primary feature behind this upgrade is Facebook Recommendations.
What Is Facebook Recommendations?
You can use Facebook Recommendations to ask your local community where to go, where to eat, or where to shop. And you can leave your feedback to help others make their own informed consumer choices.
Facebook Recommendations has replaced Ratings as the way users give feedback about local businesses. Instead of giving a one-to-five star rating, you are now simply asked whether or not you would recommend a particular business. In making this change, the social network is pushing people to write more about their experiences, which it believes will lead to richer and more authentic reviews. ‘Word-of-mouth’ is still one of the most effective forms of marketing and Facebook Recommendations is deigned to convert that into a digital format that will appear when people are searching for or talking about a particular type of business or service anywhere on Facebook.
So How Does Facebook Recommendations Work?
Now, when you recommend a local business or service to a friend, Facebook will encourage you to write a short review (a minimum of 25 characters), and select from a choice of category-based attribution tags, which you simply click to add. You even have the option to add photos.
Why Recommendations Could Backfire
Recommendations could and should be good news for local businesses that care about the quality of their service delivery and like to trade on their reputation.
My concern, however, is that this could prove to be a flawed system, where businesses suffer as a result of dishonesty or abuse. Will businesses be safe from fraudulent or spam adverse reviews. What’s to stop rival businesses leaving negative feedback about their competitors? And there is the human psychology factor too. People will visit a restaurant, enjoy a wonderful dining experience and most of the time say nothing. But as soon as those same people feel that their experience has been below par, they’re ready to tell the world about it. That’s just the way it is!
Facebook claims that fraudulent or dishonest content in Recommendations will be easier to report. But how quickly and effectively Facebook will act on this remains to be seen.
Time will tell how well Facebook Recommendations is received and, along with many others, I’ll be watching with interest.
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