Facebook Updates: Rating and Recommendations

I was recently creating content for a Facebook Business page we manage and noticed a new icon: a green circle that appeared to depict a review score. As soon as I saw this, I started checking some other accounts, and realized this change wasn’t made to all of them...so what was going on?

 The new rating system ranges from 1-10, compared to the 5-star rating scale previously used.

The new rating system ranges from 1-10, compared to the 5-star rating scale previously used.

I figured this meant a new Facebook review roll out, so I started to do some digging of my own and, lo and behold, Facebook is now beta testing an updated rating system for businesses.

It seems as though Facebook is (for now) shifting away from the 5-star scale system and opting for a 1-10 range, with 10 being the highest rating a business can get. Additionally, Facebook is now incorporating aspects such as response time to private messages and recommendations into the overall rating of a business. Under this new rating system, a reviewer can choose to either “recommend” or “not recommend” a business with the option to provide additional feedback.

Since these features are still being tested, now is the time to capitalize on this newly found direct access to customer insight. If a Facebook user falls upon your page, they will see a section that highlights keywords throughout the recommendations platform. If you’ve been a bit disconnected from your customer base, these snapshots of how your customers feel about your business are a great way to get back in touch.

 For one of the restaurant accounts we manage, you can see the keywords are centered on great seafood.

For one of the restaurant accounts we manage, you can see the keywords are centered on great seafood.

On the other hand, you may regularly maintain your page and know your customer base quite well. So why is your score showing only a 6 out of 10, especially when the majority of your ratings are 4 or 5-stars? This could mean that although your customers are having a good experience, your business might be falling short when it comes to communicating digitally. Additionally, this new algorithm gives higher value to organic ratings so you will benefit from more recent positive reviews coming in regularly. On the plus side, this might mean that pages may receive lower ratings if they use questionable practices, such as paying for ratings. However, something like getting your friends to give you 5-star reviews (thought not malicious in intent) might hurt you. This new system gives Facebook an updated way to weigh such responses. So rather than saying you have 9 out of 10 five star reviews, you might have a lower score because the majority of those ratings come from connections to the Page manager.

Facebook isn’t providing a ton of information regarding this new rating system. In fact, a chat with a Facebook employee gave me very little insight. It seems to be that the new scoring system is based on the idea of using multiple factors to rate a business, rather than relying solely on customer reviews. By giving newer recommendations a higher value, businesses can continue to improve their score...so long as they encourage their followers to do so!

Because this is being tested by Facebook, it’s not 100% guaranteed that these changes are here to stay. However, by informing yourself of this current layout and rating scale, you will be one step ahead of your competition, and have more engaging interactions with your customers.