Have you heard that Facebook Reviews are now Facebook Recommendations? Were you paying attention to Facebook Reviews in the first place? In any case, you need a streamlined review process. Online auto dealer reviews are here to stay, and one of the main components of that is Facebook.
Word of mouth marketing is one of the best and most credible forms of advertising and people are more likely to buy from and trust a dealership that was recommended by someone they know.
But as you know, "word of mouth" isn’t the same as it used to be. Getting your customers' friends and family is still valuable. People still talk around the water cooler. But there’s a whole online world out there, and that’s where you need to tap in and get people talking. Facebook, Google, Yelp, and many others give people an easy avenue to review your dealership.
Online reviews are vitally important to an auto dealership. Why? Think about what you do when someone tells you about the new coffee shop in town or that new tool they picked up at the hardware store. You’re probably going online to find out more. Guess what? That's exactly what people are doing when they hear about your dealership — whether it’s from a friend or one of your advertising channels. And one of the first things people look for is reviews. Good reviews are gold. They are always beneficial and only help to build your credibility (just watch out for fake reviews). Now, Facebook is trying to make its review process more accessible and more streamlined, and you should be paying attention.
What Are Facebook Recommendations?
The now-replaced Facebook Reviews was a system where users could rate a business on a scale of 1 to 5. As we’ve previously discussed, a star rating system like that is easy for people to use and understand, but it’s also confusing. What’s different between a three-star and a four-star review? What if a five-star review is critical, but a one-star review is glowingly positive?
To avoid this ambiguity (and to differentiate themselves from Google and Yelp), Facebook ditched reviews in favor of recommendations. Now, users are merely asked a yes or no question — "Do you recommend this business?" From there, users are encouraged to elaborate and share their experiences via review tags (Facebook-generated tags based on the type of business), text (25-character minimum to encourage more detailed responses), and photos. People can still leave "reviews," (and ideally better ones) but the overarching message is clear — “Yes, I recommend this business.” or No, I do not recommend this business.”
Whenever someone searches for your dealership on Facebook, Recommendations will pop up. Best of all, users will see recommendations from their friends first, and as we stated, people are more likely to trust and buy from the brands their friends and family do. The average rating out of five will still be on your Page, factoring in both past reviews and new recommendations. Old one- and two-star reviews will be classified as “Not Recommended” and four- and five-star ratings will be “Recommended.” Any three-start ratings you had will be classified as “Reviewed.”
Why Did Facebook Make This Change?
Facebook knows Business Pages are valuable. According to their stats, two out of every three Facebook users visit a local Business Page at least a week, and one in three people use Facebook to look for recommendations and reviews.
On top of that, it’s no secret that Facebook has been under fire recently and has been making conscious efforts to be more transparent. With Recommendations, Facebook is looking to garner more authentic reviews from real people and less fake reviews from bots, spammers, current or ex-employees, and the competition. The new system also allows users to dig deeper and share the unique aspects of the business as Google My Business does.
It also makes things easier. It’s easier to ask or answer a yes or no question than it is to assign or assess a star rating. But with less ambiguity comes more extremes; a yes or no question leaves no middle ground. Sure, a recommendation can be couched with a “but” or “if” — but at the end of the day, it’s a recommendation or it’s not.
How Should Your Dealership Address Facebook Recommendations?
If your Page previously had reviews, Recommendations have been automatically turned on. If you never enabled Reviews, you'll have to allow Recommendations by following these steps.
More importantly, you need to be on top of these Recommendations. Users are going to be encouraged to give context to what was good or bad about your dealership and the service you provide. You’re going to get a clear view of where you’re excelling and where your shortcomings are. It's up to you to follow up on both and keep doing what's right and fix what's wrong. This allows you to honestly tell your dealership’s story and showcase who you are and what you do. With Recommendations, Facebook is trying to rule the word-of-mouth marketing world. Your business needs to be active on social media. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to do just that.