Facebook was once seen as the go-to social network to connect with friends, family, and broader circles. Over the years since its inception, it has reinvented itself and is now one of the most popular platforms for businesses to show their brand’s worth and attract new customers.
Collecting reviews on Facebook can earn a small business a lot of brownie points by helping claim more online real estate. But like with any review platform such as Yelp or Google reviews, Facebook reviews also carry the risk of being fake and unfairly damaging your business credibility.
If you’re wondering why to bother with Facebook reviews if they carry this inherent risk, read on to discover why they’re integral to a small business’s online reputation management.
Why Facebook Reviews Are Important To Small Businesses
Businesses, both small and big, recognize the value of Facebook as a business platform. It amasses a vast audience and contains tools for businesses to leverage that can help in catering to their specific target market.
Facebook reviews can benefit small businesses in several ways, but the primary advantages behind them are:
1. They boost sales
When potential customers read reviews about your business, it becomes more authentic in their eyes. They want to see a company that cares about its customers and provides good service. Receiving that affirmation through reviews will make your business more trustworthy and encourage them to make an informed purchase decision.
2. It bridges communication gaps
Facebook reviews also act as a platform to communicate with your customers and directly address their concerns. Reviews provide straight and honest feedback from your customers that can help you identify and build upon your strengths while eliminating your weaknesses. Even the negative review can be turned around if you take action after receiving the feedback and respond professionally.
3. Improves local SEO rankings
Believe it or not, Facebook reviews do play a part in improving your SEO ranking. The more times your business is mentioned, rated, and reviewed, the more visibility it will gain on Google’s search. SEO experts have claimed that reviews account for 9.8% of the ranking factors.
How To Disable Facebook Reviews
Clearly, growing your reviews on Facebook can be advantageous to you as a small business owner. But how do you handle the reviews left in bad faith, the false reviews that have no merit?
The answer is simple: you can remove them through these step-by-step instructions:
- Check your Facebook account for reviews
- Disable the review section from Facebook
- Respond to your Facebook reviews
- Flag fake reviews for removal
- Get more positive reviews
Check your Facebook Account for Reviews
The first thing you should do is log into your Facebook account and navigate over to your business page. If you have Facebook reviews enabled already, you should see the Reviews tab on the left-hand side of your Facebook page. Click it!
Here’s an example of a local business to give you an idea:
From there, you’ll be able to read through all the online reviews left by customers online and also view the average rating your business has scored.
It’s wise to have a small team that manages all things digital marketing for you. Having that team allocate time for review management is essential, especially as your business grows.
Read through the reviews on your Facebook Business page and flag those that are suspicious or seem fake. There are steps you can take to deal with these.
Disable reviews section from Facebook
Of course, you could save all the trouble of worrying about fake or bad reviews being seen by removing them all together.
To be extra clear: this does not remove the reviews posted by the users. It only hides the section, taking all your Facebook Reviews off the public’s radar. Keep in mind this is a double-edged sword, especially if you’ve garnered 5* ratings and reviews for your service. But if you have a large number of fake reviews, this is an excellent option to go for.
Here are the steps to remove the Facebook Reviews section from your Business Page:
- Click on “Settings” on your Business Page
- Click “Edit Page”
- Scroll down to the “Reviews” section and click Settings
- Move the slider from “ON” to “OFF”
- Save your new settings
You can turn them back on later, any time you want through this same section.
Respond to Your Facebook Reviews
Sometimes, the solution doesn’t lie in hiding the Facebook reviews section all together. It’s important to gauge the review itself, and no matter what the scenario: respond to them.
Negative Facebook reviews can actually bring about a positive effect on your business. Customers may grow suspicious of a business with a large number of star ratings and star reviews but zero negative reviews. All businesses are bound to make mistakes, and they know that.
Furthermore, if you respond to a negative or fake review in a professional manner, it’s a testament to your business values and good customer service. It also indicates to potential customers that you are active on social media.
That being said, here are sample templates you can leverage to respond to a review, depending on its nature. Be sure to check out our pointers on how to respond to reviews fully to make sure yours lines up with your business tone and situation.
Example response to a positive review
“Thank you very much for the positive feedback! Our team is committed to delivering the highest quality service and are thrilled to hear you had a positive customer experience with us. We appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your thoughts and hope to serve you again in the future!
Example response to an authentic negative review
“We sincerely apologize that our service was not satisfactory. We aim to provide the most excellent customer service and carry our business with high standards. It is of deep concern that our standards were not met in your customer experience. Your satisfaction is important to us, and we will ensure this does not happen again.”
Example response to a fake review
“Thank you for contacting us. We take our customer satisfaction very seriously. Regretfully, we do not have any customer service on record associated with your name and believe this review may be erroneous in nature. Please contact us at [CUSTOMER SERVICE EMAIL] if you would like further clarification. If we do not hear from you, we will follow up with Facebook to remove this erroneous review.”
How to Report Fake Facebook Reviews
You received a fake review that is borderline slander or involves hate speech and negative comments. It could also be doing a lot of damage to your business credibility, and the only alternative you have is to get rid of it entirely. Is it possible? Yes!
Follow these straightforward steps to get the review flagged with Facebook:
1. Find the review you want to remove.
2. Navigate to the top right-hand corner and click on the three dots. A drop-down menu will pop up and select “Find support or report Recommendation.”
3. Click the option most relevant for you and hit “Send”.
The review is now registered with Facebook. Once they review your complaint, if they find the review to be fraudulent or against Facebook’s Community Standards, the team will remove it directly from your Business page.
Get More Reviews On Facebook
One of the best and most proactive things you can do to turn around fake reviews or bad reviews is attract more positive ones. Go back to the customers you know had a positive customer experience with you and kindly ask them to drop in a good word for you on Facebook.
There are several ways you can reach out to customers and get more Facebook reviews. Here are our resource articles that expand upon what you can do to:
- Embed Facebook Reviews into your site and other platforms
- Generate and send a Facebook Review link directly to your customers
- Invite your customers to do a Facebook review through a post-purchase email template
Your first thought when you receive a negative or bad Facebook review should never be “how do I get rid of this”. Rather, “how can I prevent this from happening again?”
If you’ve grown a lot of positive reviews, seeing a fake one in the middle of them can put you off. But depending on the scenario, you should take the right action from the alternatives covered in this article and choose the one that suits you best.
In the long run, weighing your options and choosing the right strategy can help keep your reputation management practices sustainable and healthy while simultaneously growing your profits.
If you need further assistance on managing your reviews, check out our review management services and get in touch with us!