Online ratings and reviews are a powerful form of user-generated content to help grow your business. In fact, reviews are a form of word of mouth, which is the most trusted source consumers consult before buying.


According to a study by TurnTo Networks, 90 percent of shoppers’ purchasing decisions is influenced by user-generated content. The primary conclusion of TurnTo’s study is ratings, reviews and other user-generated content are more influential than advertising.


Plus, a survey by earned content platform Olapic showed that 76 percent of consumers believe the content everyday people share is more honest than advertising from brands.


This surely presents a tremendous opportunity to invest further in your customers’ experience.


Enabling Facebook Star Ratings and Reviews


The Reviews feature on Facebook is incredibly easy to set up if you already have a Facebook business page. Why not encourage your happy customers to leave a review to help attract more customers?


Facebook first established the star rating feature in November 2013 as a way to encourage more customers to review local businesses. Any visitor to your Facebook business page can rate your store on a scale from one to five stars. Your average Facebook page star rating is displayed on your page by default. The page rating is an average of all public star ratings.


Once a customer has chosen her star rating, she can also add a written review.


Facebook allows your customers to choose the level of privacy they prefer on their review. Ideally, you want to encourage your customers to select public. However, just like publishing content on our personal Facebook profiles, reviewers can choose a setting such as specific friends, all friends, friends and their friends, or public.


Related content:  Facebook Privacy: What Small Business Owners Need to Know


First, make sure you have the Reviews tab enabled on your Facebook business page. Go to Settings, Edit Page, Add a Tab. If you don’t see Reviews as a choice, you may need to switch templates.


Next, you can drag and drop the order of your tabs to feature the Reviews tab more prominently – perhaps at the very top of your page.


How to Get Customers to Leave Reviews


So, how do you encourage more customer reviews? Here are a few suggestions:


1. If you’re shipping a product, include a postcard inside the box with a clear and simple invitation to leave a review on your Facebook page. Tell your customer exactly what to do. For example, “We’d love to hear from you! Please share your experience on our Facebook page. Go to > tap on the Reviews tab > select your star rating and write your rave review! We’d love it if you shared your review publicly.” startup-3373320_640.png


2. Send your customers follow-up emails asking about their experience with your company. Invite them to leave a star rating and write a review for you on Facebook so that their experience might benefit others. Be sure to include a direct link to your Facebook Reviews tab:


3. Include your Facebook Reviews URL with an eye-catching button on your website. Invite your customers to share their experience of your company, product or service on your Facebook Reviews tab.


4. Set up a Messenger chat bot to communicate with customers. Integrate the Messenger button on your purchase confirmation page, or other relevant web page(s), asking customers if they’d like to receive updates from you via Messenger. Follow up with an invitation to leave a star rating and write a review. Include a button that links directly to your Reviews tab.


5. Regularly monitor the comments and posts by visitors on your Facebook page. Look for potential customer reviews. Comment publically and/or private message these customers asking if they’d be willing to share the same feedback on your Reviews tab so that future customers can benefit from their experience.



How to Deal with Negative Reviews


Many businesses may fear enabling Reviews on Facebook in case they get some low stars or negative reviews. However, understanding Facebook’s guidelines can help you to increase positive reviews and report any negative reviews that don’t follow Facebook’s rules.


Reviews must follow the Facebook Community Standards. Reviews must also be based on personal experience and focus on the product or service offered by your page. If a review doesn’t follow Facebook’s rules, you can report it to Facebook and request its removal.


Keep in mind that most people simply want to be heard, understood and valued. When your company responds promptly and courteously to an upset customer along with proactive steps to rectify the situation, the negativity can often be quickly diffused and turned around.


It’s important to get into the habit of checking your Reviews on Facebook regularly and responding to every single one. Negative and less than optimal reviewers could be turned into your best advocates with the right approach. And, your positive reviewers are most likely your absolute best customers. You’ll want to really nurture the relationship you have with them.


Related Content: The Small Business Owner's Guide to Social Media [Ebook]

How to Boost Positive Online Reviews for Your Business – And Deal with Those Pesky Bad Ones


About Mari Smith


Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

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