Are you curious about how Facebook Recommendations can impact your business?
Good, let’s dip our big toe into the vast world of Facebook to see how they are providing these Recommendations to users. Do take a moment and let it sink in that the Recommendations feature has been around since 2016, however its popularity is growing more so now then 2 years ago. Why the sudden popularity boost? It’s because users are more trusting of their network of Facebook friends than they were years ago. It’s simple if you think about it, who do you ask when you have a question or a need to be fulfilled?
Answer: Your network of friends and family.
What are Facebook Recommendations?
Facebook Recommendations allows a user to reach out to their network of friends and family and ask them for an endorsement. Endorsement is defined as “an act of giving one's public approval or support to someone or something.”
Example: Jane needs a new of a new roof, she posts on Facebook; Looking for Recommendations – “I need a new roof, can anyone help?” Molly, Jane’s neighbor 4 houses down sees this and recommends and tags a company she worked with for her new roof and gives her endorsement to Jane. This endorsement helps Jane to pick a roofing company based off her neighbor Molly’s recommendation.
The same principle was used “back-in-the-day” before the internet; it was called word of mouth. Same concept applies. What’s great about this for businesses is that it’s FREE ADVERTISING. This is a bonus for business owners who provide great services that their customers liked (no pun intended) so much that they tell someone else about it.
Let’s put on our Business Hat for a moment and think about how we can benefit from a Recommendation. Currently as a business owner you can quantify some features on Facebook by; the number of likes you received and the number of Reviews you receive. There isn’t currently a way to quantify this Recommendation feature. However, if you are smart, and I know you are, so you will take that Recommendation as a door to be opened, 2 doors to be exact. Here’s what we mean by that...
How Your Business Can Benefit From Facebook Recommendations
Door number one, the user who recommended you –
Are they following you? Have they given you a review? Are they a past/current client?
Whether you answered YES or NO to any of those questions that user is a springboard. They are following you, great. They have worked with you, even better. Have they given you a review? No? Now is your chance to get that Review from them. Send them a Thank You Message: “Hi, Molly – thank you so much for your Recommendation today. We had a great experience working with you on your roof and hope you feel the same, we would like it if you would take a moment to give us a Review.”
Boom, more positive advertising for your company when their 5-star review pops up. Let’s say they have reviewed your company already, no problem. Thank them for the Recommendation and take the opportunity to send them a promotion you are currently running. Or simply send them a $5 gift card to Starbucks as a nice gesture. I would almost guarantee your company will come up the next time a friend or family member mentions the services you provide. Look at that, you’ve gained and kept a loyal customer and a loyal Marketing Consultant for your business.
Door number two, the user that received your recommendation –
Treat them just as you would any other customer that reached out for your services. This step must be executed quickly. We all know that Jane has many friends and it’s a matter of time before someone else chimes in with a recommendation for a competitor company.
Therefore, it’s very important that you immediately respond and let them know you are here to help. Provide a few ways for them to contact you; your Facebook page is the obvious because you know very well that they will be looking at your Page. Provide them with a phone number and let them know you are available to talk NOW, no obligation.
You should also send them a link to your number one online asset, your website, which is the second place they will look you up. Your goal should be to get them on the phone, so you can begin to build rapport with them and convert them into a new customer as quickly as possible.
You Get Out What You Put In
At the end of the day, Facebook Recommendations are great for businesses, as long as you don’t take them for granted and actually make them work for you.
Currently on Facebook you aren’t publicly measured by the number of Recommendations you have, but you are measured by the Likes and Reviews that you received. However, a new recommendation from a friend in your network is certainly the best chance you have to gain a new customer so make it count!
Mary Beth Evans - Chief Operating Officer