If you’ve been paying attention to your business page on Facebook in the past few weeks, you might have noticed a big change to your review section. As of this month, Facebook has revamped its review system and has changed it to “Recommendations.”
One in three Facebook users use the platform to get recommendations from friends and community, and with the addition of the ability to ask your friends and groups for recommendations as of October 2016, it makes sense that Facebook would follow suit with the review process.
What does this mean for you as a dental practice owner and should you be doing anything differently in your marketing strategy to cope with this change?
What’s the difference between “reviews” and “recommendations”?
The biggest difference between reviews and recommendations is the initial way Facebook asks for feedback from your patients. In the past, reviewers were asked to rate the business on a 1-5 star scale much like Google, Yelp, and most of the other major review sites. With the new recommendation system, reviewers are simply a
sked, “Do you recommend this business?”
If the reviewer chooses “yes,” Facebook prompts them to provide additional feedback about their experience. They can also share photos and add tags to their review, two new features not previously supported by Facebook reviews. If the reviewer chooses “no,” they’ll also have an opportunity to provide additional information.
Even though there is no longer an option for an individual to rate a business from 1-5 stars, businesses still receive an overall 1-5 rating based on a mysterious combination of past star ratings and how many people recommend or don’t recommend your business. This extends to recommendations that happen off your page as well.
What does this mean for me?
According to Facebook, the purpose of this change is to give you, as a business owner, more useful and constructive feedback. A rating on a 1-5 scale can mean different things for different people, but having a simple “yes” and “no” option makes the review process more transparent. For your potential patients, recommended or not recommended is an easier and more intuitive way to make a decision on their dentist.
Your old reviews will still be visible on your page, so you won’t have to worry about reviews you’ve already received disappearing.
Do I need to change my strategy?
As far as your strategy for gathering Facebook reviews goes, you won’t need to make any major changes. However, since Facebook is working to make recommendations more powerful and prominent, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re asking patients to go on your business page and recommend you.
One thing that you can start doing to make these new recommendations work harder for you is by leveraging the tagging feature. If you’re a review expert, you know that asking your patients to include specific keywords in their reviews can be a powerful factor for SEO. Tags are an even easier way to make sure that your patients are including important location-based and service related keywords in their review.