When you're looking for your next travel destination or restaurant recommendation, who do you typically ask first? More than likely, you start with your friends, family and coworkers. But what if there was a central place that aggregated all these wonderful recommendations? Wouldn’t this be amazing? That’s where Facebook comes in.
Facebook recently released two features—City Guides and Recommendations—that present businesses with immense brand awareness opportunities, especially for those who are providing exceptional customer experiences.
By now, you probably have seen Facebook’s Recommendations feature, where comments on the “Asking for Recommendations” post populates businesses’ Facebook page links, including the page’s star ratings. By including the page’s overall star rating, this shifts the focus on customer experiences. Most people won’t click through to visit a page that only has two stars if other recommended places have more positive reviews. This shift means brands will have to be vigilant in ensuring their Facebook page is active and up-to-date. They will also have to take the time to diligently respond to customer reviews, comments and questions.
Facebook City Guides
City Guides showcases where Facebook users’ friends have checked in, as well as popular attractions and places locals frequent in certain cities. Sound familiar? That’s because this new tool essentially combines some of the best features of Google Maps and TripAdvisor. Access it by clicking the menu icon on the Facebook app or on the right hand side of Facebook on your desktop.
Simply click on a city, and you will be shown where your friends have been and some of the most highly-rated attractions. However, Facebook isn’t totally transparent on how it aggregates these recommendations into a meaningful city guide. But our bet is it that it considers the number of page check-ins, reviews and fan engagement to make this determination.
Any business with a physical location has the potential to be featured in City Guides. That’s why we suggest “checking in” on Facebook more often to recommend great experiences to friends and family. Also, businesses can easily create incentives for customers to check in at their locations as a way to increase organic reach. This will help their chances of being featured in City Guides.
It’s no secret that social media has changed the way we discover experiences. By releasing Recommendations and City Guides, Facebook is underscoring how critical reviews are in influencing customer decisions. So if you are a business on Facebook, here are a few things you should do to optimize success:
- Enure your Facebook page is active and up-to-date
- Assess every customer review to understand the connection economy and its impact on your business
- Take the time to diligently respond to customer reviews, comments and questions
- Create incentives for customer reviews and for them to check in at their locations as a way to increase organic traffic
By incorporating these strategies, you will be improving customer experiences and increasing the number of positive reviews. It’s a win-win for your business and consumers.