As you might have noticed, reviews are now a thing on Facebook. But just because something is available doesn’t mean that you should always ask for it.
The main reason to ask for reviews on Facebook is that the reviewers friends will see the review posted in their feed and visitors to your Facebook page will see “social proof” that some real people think your business did a good job. Eventually, Facebook might also launch its own search engine and your reviews would potentially be used as a ranking factor in non-branded search terms for your industry.
The downside is that your reviews are behind a big blue wall. In other words, unlike reviews almost anywhere else on the web, Facebook reviews are not listed in search engines. They are, in a sense, lost content unless someone goes to your Facebook business page. In addition, the old phrase “easy come, easy go” springs to mind when thinking about how likely it is that your reviews on Facebook will still be displayed in a couple of years.
Crazy talk you say? Facebook would never take down user content?? Remember back (2 years ago) when Yahoo made a big push to engage local businesses by building its local capabilities? Well, if Yahoo can blow up its entire reviews database after 5+ years, Facebook could easily do the same.
The answer to the question posed in the title: yes. BUT, only as a small percentage of the total review requests you make. Having some reviews on Facebook as social proof is useful but having a balanced review strategy is much more important. Simply stated, reviews around the web matter more than lots of reviews in any one place.
Many people use Facebook to construct a view of themselves that they want to project to the world. People lie and/or selectively share information on Facebook to seem more interesting. Understanding this insight has a big impact on how businesses should attempt to interact with their customers on Facebook – including asking for reviews.
How? Think about what industry your business is in. Would being a customer of your business and/or the service you provide make a person seem more interesting/cool/funny to their friends? If so, you’re in luck! You are likely to get lots of reviews on Facebook, Yelp and Google where writing a review of your business is self-aggrandizing for the reviewer. What is even better is that you probably don’t need to ask for a review from your customers and you are right now wondering what all the fuss is about in getting people to write reviews. Examples of this type of business are skydiving businesses, animal shelters, Tesla rental companies, etc.
But what if you are not in a “sexy” or “cool” business? The bad news is that it is going to be much harder. The good news is that its not impossible. Although reviewers are nearly 4 times more likely to write a review of a restaurant than an auto repair business, they still do write reviews of auto repair, insurance, etc. So keep asking for reviews!
If you are a Customer Lobby member, stand by, we will be adding Facebook to our Smart Invite very soon to help you managed a balanced review portfolio around the web. If you are not a Customer Lobby member, check out our free trial or ask an expert how to get more reviews.