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social media how toDoes your business get Facebook reviews?

Are you concerned about the effect of poor reviews on your business?

Facebook has a star rating system that lets your customers share their experience (whether positive or negative) with others.

In this article I’ll share everything you need to know about Facebook star reviews, including what they are and how to shut them off.

What Are Facebook Reviews?

According to Facebook, star ratings encourage more people to rate a business, making it eligible to appear in the news feed. This helps readers discover new businesses, while businesses create greater brand awareness.

Star ratings are incorporated into a business’s Facebook EdgeRank. Much like Google has its 200 ranking factors, Facebook has an algorithm that determines where your posts will end up in the news feed, if they end up there at all.

EdgeRank is calculated with “affinity,” “weight” and “time decay.” Affinity measures the interaction between a Facebook user and a brand, while weight is the importance of that action. Star ratings factor into both. Put simply: overall organic reach and brand visibility are directly impacted by EdgeRank, which is influenced in part by star ratings.

edgerank explanation graphic

Facebook star ratings factor into a company’s EdgeRank score.

Advantages of Facebook Reviews

The ability to influence EdgeRank is a major benefit to maintaining Facebook star ratings on your page. There’s also the increased integrity and credibility that comes with brand transparency.

Disadvantages of Facebook Reviews

When you use ratings, there’s always the potential for a poor rating, as well as the likelihood that a user who has poorly rated your business will have strict privacy settings and you’ll be unable to respond to the review. There’s also the prospect of fake ratings.

How to Get Review Notifications

If you decide to maintain star ratings, you’ll want to respond immediately to either a positive or negative review. Turn on notifications within your page settings to stay on top of all of your page’s ratings.

1. Go to Settings in your admin dashboard.

2. Select “Get a notification each time there is activity on your Page or an important Page update.”

turning on facebook review notifications

Turn on notifications so you can respond immediately to reviews.

3. Make sure that all notifications are turned on under “Edit your notification settings.”

4. Select whether you additionally want an email sent to you each time there is activity on your page.

You’ll now get notifications for any activity on your company’s page.

How to Turn Off Reviews

If Facebook ratings create too many problems for your business, you may want to remove the ratings system altogether.

Removing star ratings from your page can only be done by also removing Check-Ins and your business map in the About section.

facebook about tab showing checkin map

If you decide to disable your star ratings, you must also remove check-ins and your business map.

Here’s what you need to do to turn off ratings.

1. Go to Settings from your admin dashboard on your Facebook page.

2. Select Page Info.

facebook page info settings tab

To turn off ratings, go to Settings from your Facebook page admin dashboard.

3. In Page Info select Address and you’ll be shown your business address, a map and a checkbox that says, “Show map, check-ins and star ratings on the Page.”

facebook address info settings

Uncheck the box on the Address page to remove ratings.

4. Uncheck the “Show map, check-ins and star ratings on the Page” box and Facebook users will no longer have the ability to rate your business.

facebook about tab with no checkin map

This is what your About page will look like after you remove ratings.

Removing ratings may be a solution if you are having major ratings challenges. Remember, however, it’ll give an advantage to any competition that elects to maintain transparency with their own ratings.

Reputation Management

In the 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey, 85% of respondents said they read online reviews for local businesses and 79% of respondents said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Within that same 2013 survey, 73% said positive reviews make them trust a business more.

brightlocal survey graph

Reviews affect potential customers’ perception of a business.

Reputation management should be an integral aspect of your Facebook marketing strategy. A member of the management, social media or public relations team should make it a priority to handle reviews.

How to Respond to Poor Facebook Reviews

All business owners strive to provide superb customer service at every level. Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone all of the time. A 2-star rating or poor review can happen. The key to handling bad reviews lies in how you respond.

As a page admin, once you receive a star review, you’ll be alerted through the notifications bar or via email, depending on how you set this up in previous steps.

reviews notification

Get alerts for new Reviews by email or Notifications.

Respond privately (and immediately). Handle negative ratings with compassion and brand integrity, no matter how upsetting the situation might be.

Do your homework and familiarize yourself with the event first. Then contact the user off of Facebook for the initial consultation. Call, email or message the user directly.

While there are instances when a compromise cannot be achieved, in my experience, with empathy and patience a solution can nearly always be found.

Respond publicly after every attempt has been made to clarify the issue and resolve the customer complaint. Make a public response in the form of a comment on the star rating.

Keep in mind that your public response needs to be timely and empathetic, as well as follow your business brand tone and values. It should also provide closure to the event. In most situations, this will be the end of the story.

reviews on facebook

People see your Reviews in the left-hand margin of your Facebook Page.

Remarkably, the simple act of contacting the customer and seeking out a solution will not only endear you, there’s a fairly good chance that poor star rating will be edited shortly thereafter.

A little goodwill goes a long way. According to a recent Harris Interactive survey, of the customers who received a response from a company after posting negative feedback, 33% turned around and posted a positive review of the brand, and 34% deleted the original negative review.

Conclusion

Facebook star ratings give companies an enormous opportunity to increase transparency and credibility with their audience. Make reviews work for you. And only consider turning them off as a last resort.

Keep an eye on ratings through notifications and respond to both positive and negative reviews in a timely manner.

Don’t be concerned about the possibility of a poor rating. Instead, embrace the prospect of the potential for many 5-star reviews.

What do you think? Do you have Facebook star ratings visible on your page? Or did you elect to turn them off? How do you respond to reviews? Please share your experience with this rating system in the comments.

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  • Ishita Ganguly

    I agree with you. Facebook Reviews should be used wisely. It’s a great tool to maintain transparency and at the same time to earn trust from your audience. Eliminating the feature won’t help, if you have an issue with your service or product. There is a world beyond Facebook!

    Good-read. Thanks!

  • Great post Kandice. Online reviews influence potential clients and can often generate (+) or limit (-) business based on their use.

    If a business gets a bunch of fake reviews, then turning the Facebook reviews off may be a viable solution, then pin a post to explain why.

    As you point out, every real negative review becomes a turn around opportunity. Thanks for sharing the data to substantiate this.

  • The other missed benefit of Facebook reviews is that Google is also now scraping them and occasionally including them in search results when they aggregate reviews for a business.

  • That’s interesting, Toby. Thanks for sharing.

  • Well said Ishita. Thank you!

  • This is extremely interesting. I’m going to have to check this out!

  • First, you can’t actually see all of your business’ reviews. Surprise! If someone has restricted their review to Friends, for example, you can’t see them. However, they don’t count towards your public review score.

    Many fake reviews come from services that sell Facebook ratings and likes. In order to fool Facebook’s apparently weak algorithm. these services have their employees pass out low/bad ratings on random businesses in order to make their positive reviews more “believable.” I have several of those on my own business, and multiple attempts/complaints to Facebook have gone unanswered.

    Rather than just turn ratings off, I noticed all of my bogus ratings came from outside the US. I am a local business, so I am not concerned about a lot of international traffic. So I restrict my page (Admin Panel > Manage Permissions) and only allow certain countries to access my business page.

  • Great points Sandy! Thanks!

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  • Thanks for the article. Quick question though: didn’t you use to be able to delete or hide a review that you didn’t like? I could have sworn it was possible but today when one of my clients had a new bad review on her page, I tried to hide it and it wouldn’t let me. It kept asking me all these questions about why I wanted it off the page and since I couldn’t prove it was fake, it wouldn’t take it off. I guess Facebook is getting more serious about these now….

  • Great question. I think an important point to take away from the article is that every negative review is an opportunity for your client. Instead of reacting to the negative review, the client should get creative and respond empathetically.

  • Tina

    What about comments on Facebook reviews. I noticed you don’t ever get notifications for conversations happening on these reviews which makes it very difficult to monitor and engage.

  • Great question Tina. Monitoring reviews is an important aspect of reputation management, and as of right now I do not believe you are notified of review comments. I suggest checking those reviews (very easily and quickly done just by clicking the star reviews on your business page) periodically and responding as needed.

  • Tina

    Thanks Linwright, that is what I am currently doing but I wanted to share to see if any tools could be used. When you have 1000 reviews it is very time consuming to have to view the “see more” and expand comments within threads. If you have any suggestions, I am all ears!

  • Paul Cypert

    They’re really a losing battle for most companies as it’s incredibly easy to spam or derail a company’s ratings. Facebook gives very minimal protection to companies and all the power to the “customers” who could very well have never even used your product. Would be great if it was tied to a purchase like how they regulate the iTunes store..but sadly it’s not. Amazing how many negative reviews are tied to folks with 14 friends and only one other update ever LOL. A far inferior offering to most other ranking/rating sites.

  • Kirsty

    Great article, Kandice, it was really helpful thank you. What I would like to know is how the reviews are chosen to feature on your front page to the left hand side. We have some really old reviews that aren’t very good but lots of great current reviews. Unfortunately, the really old reviews are the ones that show in that column!

  • brian griswold

    get your company off facebook! it was designed to exploit college females, it has turned into an NSA rival for information gathering, it has nothing to do with corporate business!!

  • zaddleinternetmarketing

    Hi Kandice – great article. Could you also add negative terms and phrases into the page moderation box to stop negative posts and comments appearing on the page publicly? Might not stop the reviews section but it certainly stops people who use your facebook page to complain (rather than complain via a review).

  • KLinwright

    Great points Paul!

  • Hello Kirsty and great question…and one that I honestly don’t have the answer to! I’ll have to check that out for you.

  • Absolutely! You can always modify the phrases allowed on your page, which is a great way to at least somewhat cut down on spam comments. But you’re right, this won’t impact the Star Reviews. But it’s a great idea to help protect your brand!

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  • All excellent points, especially now that Facebook Professional Services has been introduced. Kandice must be clairvoyant 🙂

  • Clare Read-Smith

    Did you ever find a solution for this as we are having the same issue with not being able to default to most recent.

  • LisaDJenkins

    Hi Kristy, I wanted to make sure you’d received an answer to your question. Open your General Settings, click on Comment Ranking and uncheck the box next to ‘See most relevant comments by default’.

  • LisaDJenkins

    Hi Clare, I’m jumping in to help here. Open your General Settings, click on Comment Ranking and uncheck the box next to ‘See most relevant comments by default’. That should do it!

  • Thack ☁️

    Little late to the party. Can you in any way use positive reviews as part of a Facebook advert?

  • 216 Digital

    Hi Lisa,

    Thank you so much for your solution here. I made this change on my business page a little less than a week ago, but I’m still having the same two posts pull through on the left hand side. Does this setting take a while to update?

  • LisaDJenkins

    This was my mistake, I ‘saw’ Reviews but ‘read’ Comments. I apologize for the confusion. Once you enable Reviews, you cannot choose the order in which Reviews are shown on your Page. In fact, different people may see different Reviews. Here’s more from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/help/1590673771158872