Facebook is making a host of sweeping changes to its mobile app that influences how users interact with local businesses, including changes to reviews/recommendations, the addition of a reservation/appointment booking tool and general layout changes.
Reviews are now recommendations
Facebook: “Your customers are your best ambassadors”. In keeping with this, Facebook is changing the way reviews/recommendations work. Here are the key changes:
- Star reviews are no longer. It’s now a simple “Yes” or “No” to “Do you recommend *business name*?”. (Old star reviews will remain, however).
- Customers can now add tags and photos to a review.
- Recommendations (reviews) now feature right at the top of a business page on mobile, helping them stand out more prominently to potential customers.
- Reviews must be a minimum of 50 characters, helping trades collect better, more valuable reviews from their customers.
- When people ask for recommendations and somebody links your business, Facebook will let you know so you can reach out to them as they’re making a decision and it will also feature under the reviews section on the page.
The above changes should help trades collect more valuable ‘recommendations’ from their past customers and then showcase them more prominently to potential customers.
Also, Facebook has made it easier to report spammy reviews/recommendations. So if a rival local businesses has left a negative review about your business, which isn’t all that uncommon believe it or not, you can now let Facebook know and hopefully get it removed.
Reservation/appointment booking tool
Facebook’s new update allows you to further customise the call to action button and add a “Book now” button, allowing customers to book an appointment based on the services that you offer. We’re unsure how useful this tool is for trades because it mainly depends on the job, but it might be worth trialling if you’ve got a team on call.
You can also link out to a scheduling took on your website or to other external scheduling sites/tools that you use.
Facebook has added further ways to customise your business page on mobile. You can now showcase information such as working hours, price ranges, recommendations and offers at the top of the page, making it easier for customers to learn about your business at a glance.
Additionally, similar to the way Instagram works, customers can now click on your profile picture to see page stories and see what you’ve been up to in the last 24 hours – a good way to add a personal touch to the business.
One thing to be mindful of…
One change that you should be aware of is Facebook’s change to related pages. Even if a customer is on your page, Facebook now shows users links to other related business pages, increasing the chance of potential customers navigating away from your page.
Join Expert Trades
Head over to our private Facebook group and join the discussion and see what other trade professionals are doing in response to these new changes. You can also read more about these changes on Facebook’s News Page.