Have you checked into a business on Facebook lately? If you have, you may have seen it. The new feature rolled out by Facebook.
24 hours after checking into a location, Facebook is feeding you with a new notification. A notification asking you to review and share your experience about the place you visited. I checked in two places on Friday and by Saturday, I had two notifications for reviews. One was for the University of Southern California. The other was for Break Room 86. These are two local businesses in completely different fields around me.
The Purpose of the Check In
Consumers tend to check into businesses because they want their friends to know what they are experiencing. Is it a weekend out in Coachella? This is a great way to highlight that I’m at a festival to friends. Or is my relative sick and I’m worried about them? I’m going to check into the hospital and ask for support as my loved one goes through such a troubled time. Even if you go out for a meal, you want to show off where you got it.
As a society, we like to share our experiences and place them on social media. Whether they are happy experiences or bad experiences, we talk about them amongst our friends.
The Problem With Yelp
As consumers who go from venue to venue, we often like to talk about where we go and what we do. Yelp rewards a few constant reviewers with the status of Yelp Elite. And this helps aspire a certain type of people to go out there and constantly leave reviews. But for the average person who doesn’t use Yelp all too often for anything aside from information, we only turn to Yelp when we are unhappy. Then we leave reviews of how we were mistreated and complain on the page.
That’s why you see so many pages on Yelp with an average of a 3-star review. The only way for businesses to combat this is to have their employees actively promote positive reviews on Yelp, set up funnels that guide customers who have positive feedback to the site and so forth. In other words, you only go to Yelp when you want to get information or write about your poor experience.
For you to write about a positive experience, you either need to have an experience that completely wowed you beyond belief, be motivated to go after earning Yelp Elite, or be asked by the business to do so.
That creates an inaccurate scale when it comes to businesses who have a listing on Yelp that are not restaurants. They don’t have a constant stream of steady reviews from people of all walks of life who visit.
How Facebook Fills that Void
Facebook is a platform that nearly everyone uses on a daily basis. We use it to document our lives, connect with friends through Messenger and check into businesses. It’s the one-stop shop for us to get everything we need to get done, from collecting information about our friends, finding news and stories to read and to watch cat videos.
By having a notification appear directly in your feed, no matter how busy you are, if you have something to say about the business, you have your chance. This pushes the review process directly in front of the consumer, whether they were thinking about their experience or not. That means that if you had a good experience that didn’t wow you, you will share it. If you had a moderate experience that wasn’t pleasant nor bad, you will share what you went through. And Facebook keeps it simple because you don’t even need to write out a review. If you’re not ready to write out your whole life story, all you have to do is click a few stars and move on.
Where This Will Take Facebook
If Facebook stays consistent with this new feature, then businesses will get significantly more traffic on their pages. The reviews on each page will eventually become more accurate than Yelp, as the data won’t be offset by people who need a motivator to go to another page and the review system will be as accurate as it gets. That means that Yelp will need to work on better ways to get more users to review to keep up against the Facebook giant that is dominating every industry it can.
What This Means for Your Business
As Facebook pushes this feature and the accuracy of each review goes up, Google will start to index Facebook pages as one of the primary sources for reviews. That means the Facebook page for your business will go up higher in Google searches.
So that Facebook page you have… It deserves more attention now than ever. You need to go out there and set up a process to constantly check reviews. You need to collect and merge duplicate pages, set up a review resolution process to make sure that you are able to handle concerns as they come, because they will show up 24 hours after a customer leaves your business.
But most importantly, you need to restructure how you do business at your venue. You need to make sure your employees are on top of their game and treating everyone with respect. Because it’s not a matter of if someone will go out and complain after they leave your venue like it used to be with Yelp. Now it’s a matter of what they will say 24 hours after they left. Because Facebook is giving each person a voice, and a reminder to use their voice. Your customer’s collective voices will determine how many people come to your business in the near future. So make sure to stay on top of your customer service because this new Facebook feature will determine the true reputation of your business.
Featured Image: Axsimen/DepositPhotos.com
Screenshot by Leonard Kim. Taken September 2016.