Facebook has recently announced its latest plan – to add restaurant reviews to its news feed. So when people search for a restaurant, not only will their friends’ reviews will feature – everyone else’s will too, and it won’t necessarily all be positive.
What’s the change?
This editorial content of critics’ reviews of restaurants will be rolled out to selected restaurants in the United States, but could be implemented in the UK in the coming months. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that your restaurant is well-equipped to deal with inevitable wide-ranging reviews.
So how will this change affect your company? In the past it has been possible to pay Facebook for advertising which will cast your business in a positive light to potential customers and encourage people to visit. However, this change means a business owner will have much less control on the reviews which are shown on your business’s Facebook page. Anyone, happy or otherwise, will be able to leave a blow-for-blow account of their experience of your restaurant or business. And this could be damning for those who fail to prepare for the change.
How important are reviews?
Reviews are already fairly important to a business’s reputation online. Reviews are steadily becoming vital to a business’s future. Persistent negative reviews can result in a high financial loss. According to recent statistics, around 88% of people now trust online reviews as much as they would trust a recommendation from a friend. An increasing number of people are using social media channels and forums to leave their opinion of their experience, with feedback being much more accessible to potential customers.
In this case, when Facebook users search for a restaurant on the platform, it will display local results – so if you’ve got great reviews, this could be great for local business.
How can I prevent negative reviews from damaging my company’s reputation?
The answer to this is very simple. You need to ensure that negative reviews are minimal, and that those who have a positive experience are feeding back their positivity online. Having a presence in your local community can be vital to some businesses, whilst having an impact online and in regional media outlets can also be important depending on the size of your business.
Our reviews report takes an in-depth look at the real cost that reviews can have to your business. Nearly a fifth of current businesses admit that they don’t know how to deal with complaints and negative criticism, whilst more than half say that they have been affected in the last 12 months.
For the full report and breakdown of the findings, you can download the Business of Reviews report for free here. If you’d like any further information on the findings or would like to discuss a challenge you’re having with online reviews, please get in touch with me.