September 21, 2014

Facebook Enables Starred Reviews for Some Businesses

Facebook starred reviews

Facebook is entering the review game, but in the social network’s case it includes a star rating system, Facebook starred reviews. Facebook introduced the feature recently for businesses with physical addresses. So for those Web entrepreneurs who only have a website, this doesn’t seem an option at the moment.

The process seems fairly easy, according to directions found in the Facebook Desk Help section :

  • Just visit the Facebook page of the business you want to review.
  • Scroll down to the review section on the right hand side of the timeline.
  • Fill in the number of stars (total of five) that reflect your experience with the business.
  • Fill in a written review as well in the space that asks “What do you think about this place?”
  • You can mark your review public or select the friends, acquaintances or other connections you want to be able to see it.
  • Then hit “Review” and you’re done.

Page owners be aware. You automatically enable the Facebook star reviews feature by adding your physical address on Facebook. Facebook warns you cannot remove individual reviews. So the only option is to remove the review function completely by taking your address off your page.

How Facebook Starred Reviews are Different

It’s impossible to think about the new Facebook review feature without considering all the controversy now surrounding online reviews.

In September, small businesses in New York state faced $350,000 in fines after the attorney general’s office said they had hired freelancers to write fake online reviews.

Around the same time, a study revealed 16 percent of reviews on Yelp might be fakes and Yelp sued a law firm claiming it had faked reviews as well.

Meanwhile, the Better Business Bureau is rolling out what it claims is a more credible process to ensure reviews are written by real customers.

Facebook allows only those with an account to write a review. But how many fake Facebook accounts are out there is anyone’s guess. At best, the new Facebook starred reviews feature should probably be viewed as another way to collect feedback and generate social interest rather than an objective measure of customer sentiment.

Thumbs Up Photo via Shutterstock

More in: 65 Comments ▼

Joshua Sophy - Staff Writer


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering technology and business news. He is a journalist and editor with 15 years experience in media. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Joshua also serves as President of the Board of Directors of a curling club and is editor of a regional newsletter focused on the sport of curling in the Eastern U.S.

65 Reactions

  1. Wow. This is a great addition to FB Pages. This is perfect for today when people need real reviews badly. This will allow people to review pages on the fly but then again, it is not good for reputation management.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Aira. I’m not sure I’m convinced this is any more of a reliable system than Yelp has in place frankly. We may end up with a lot of “fictitious” Facebook accounts going around reviewing things. Time will tell.

  3. Does anyone know how to actually VIEW the reviews? Can the Admin read them or reply to them?

    • The visibility of the review is completely down to the setting that the reviewer chooses. Can choose either, public, friends or custom. I have 69 reviews but can only see 16 of them.This is NOT a good system. I have absolutely no problem with customers leaving negative reviews- if they are justified- but I do have a massive problem with the fact that users can leave reviews that cannot be seen by the business owner and, therefore, can not be responded to. everyone has the right to reply, including business owners and, lets not forget, the disgruntled customer who, for no reason other than spite, leaves a completely unjustified negative review.If a review is open an honest, why hide it. Nothing but 5 star reviews on my page but what is lurking in the hidden world??! So to answer your question, some reviews you will see and some you will never see, an absolute farce of a system!

      • I could not agree more with you. We’re a new business, it says we have 21 reviews and there is no way we do. Something is flawed in this system, VERY flawed. Where are these reviews being pulled from, other review sites? Why can’t the admin of a page read reviews, let alone respond to them. This is a MUST!

        Get it together Facebook!!!!

      • I share the same sentiments. I have been getting positive feedback from my clients, it is rather unfortunate that just today my perfect rating has been stained from someone I might not even worked directly with. The thing is, I like to know. I could have customers out there that wasn’t that satisfied and I’d like to learn how I can avoid it in the future. If anyone can just make a review and post it anonymously, then any competitor can just ruin a good business reputation.

      • Lisa et al., you guys are absolutely correct – the failure/inability of the FB page/business owners to receive notices of the posting of reviews, let alone to even SEE them, is unequivocally and deeply unfair and troubling, and no doubt violates numerous state and federal laws pertaining to Unfair Business Practices Act, etc. Moreover, I’ve heard numerous reports of hijacked negative reviews – i.e. reviews that purport to be authored by an individual but whom the individual author steadfastly and believably denies having made!

  4. I would like to know why the reviews do not show, I had someone leave a 2.5 star and I have never had any complaints at all about our work, lots of people send emails telling us how they loved their items so not sure why I would have such a low ranking and why is someone so scared to leave a comment if they had a legit complaint. I have always had great reviews and now I am worried the competition is leaving false reviews because I cannot even see them, I can only see the stars but have no idea how I can get rid of the feature since I do not have the actual address listed and it still shows the stars??????? any ideas

    • I have had the same thing happen on Facebook. I have gone in and removed my map which takes away the ability to leave a review but now, I still have a much lower star rating SHOWING than our actual customers left. I am more than a little upset about this.

  5. This can provide more credibility to businesses with a physical address. My take on this issue is that Facebook is in the right direction as far as businesses are concerned.

  6. I think this rating system is HORRIBLE. I am a photographer in a very competitive town.

    I don’t think you have to open a “Fake” account to leave a negative review. You just have to go in under your own name and leave a bad review for your competitor and there’s nothing they can do about it.

    Rating Sellers worked on eBay because at least, you had the validity of the auction number with the product description. None o that applies to Facebook.

    In fact, right now, you can’t see the comments or even the “Review Section” on the page where it’s supposed to be.

    • I agree! This is terrible for business owners. In this digital age with online bullies/trolls there is way too much room for fake negative reviews. I think they should move the stars down on the page. They should NOT be the first thing people see for the business.

  7. We’ve pretty much ignored our Company’s Facebook page (except for an occasional posting) as our audience and/or potential customers are more inclined to use Twitter or Google+ but now, these new FB ratings are excellent way to make our Facebook page more relevanty and more easily engaged with.

    • If your audience/potential customers are more likely to use Twitter & Google+, maybe you should stay focused in those areas until you have a clear reason to concentrate more on Facebook.

      I also share the sentiments of most all the other comments I’ve seen: Facebook reviews are horrible from a CRM standpoint right now. Even if you can monitor your reviews reliably, Facebook seems very unfriendly about conversation management, which as noted, is especially annoying when you know the reviews are coming from illegitmate sources.

  8. I have 5 reviews – all of them 5 stars. Yet my star rating, according to FB is 3.5. What sort of math are they using? And why don’t they let me opt into this rating system instead of having it pop up on my page without warning? I don’t mind the review system but I agree with others who have posted here – reviews that can’t be seen or responded to by the business are a bad idea. I live in a very small community and the restaurants here have had a war going on with Yelp reviews. The owner of one restaurant posted negative reviews for the others. Then the restaurants started recruiting their loyal customers to write positive reviews for their place and negative ones for competitors. It’s a complete farce at this point and quite a joke around town. Will the same thing start to happen on FB? Probably. And anyone who thinks that FB won’t have the same fictitious reviewers just has to see an email from the people selling FB likes (how many do you want? 500, 1000, 10,000??) to know that now there will be people selling ratings too. At the very least, they need to fix their math problem. At best, they need to let businesses opt into this rating system.

    • The same thing is happening to me. I don’t understand how this star system works. I have all 5 stars and yet I don’t have a 5 star rating. Did you ever find out why that is with you? I think this whole star system is stupid. Yelp is lame too.

  9. I have not found any capabilities for the business to respond to positive/negative Facebook reviews. Will this be coming down the pipeline at some point? What is the purpose of allowing users to write reviews if the business is unable to respond? Anyone have any insight on this?

    • I was able to place a comment at one point. Previously I hadn’t. But seriously, this thing that Facebook allow a review that is not visible in our sight is just clearly unfair. Any troll of a competitor can easily stain a good business reputation.

  10. The problem is is that the reviews system is not being used for its intended purpose. We have reviews on our Facebook page, and while some are actual reviews, most are questions, general comments, suggestions, requests and everything else but reviews.

    It’s not anything like Yelp. They need to remove it.

  11. I am not happy with the FB star system- all our reviews are very positive, yet we only get 4 stars! Star ratings seem to be created only on mobile FB logins, so if (like us) lots of your customers have PCS, they cannot apply a star rating at all. There does not seem any way of preventing competitors loading your FB page with one star reviews, so in my view this system is going to be widely abused. If we get a bad review, we would like the opportunity to respond and address any problems, but again it’s not clear if/how a business owner could do this.

  12. I agree that the rating system is a good idea, but posters should have to reveal their names/fb account for legitimacy and to allow the business to reply or improve their businesses. We live in a competitive town and it is very easy for other businesses to give us a low rating and not post their names or a chance to reply.

  13. I am all for a rating system, but I agree that fb posters should have to have their names listed to give a chance to business owners to reply. Competitors can easily now place false ratings to discredit our fb account. Also, we should be able to rate from a pc and not just a mobile device.

  14. I don’t understand why it will not for 1. Go in order of the dates on the reviews 2. Let the page respond like it used to 3. To clarify some ?s here, the stars pop up on the right side of your facebook and you can rate a page without ever even GOING to that page! so ppl dont even have to go to your page they can just see it there, decide ‘hmmm ill just give them a 1 star for the hell of it idk who they are anyways’ and THAT is why you have the low stars. like i have mostly all 5 star reviews and ppl raving about me, but lower star reviews. its dumb. espeically we cant counter or comment. i hate that.

  15. I just noticed this feature on my business page. When I looked closer I realized that the ratings that have been posted ARE NOT FOR MY OWN BUSINESS!!!! I am a makeup artist and the ratings are for a totally different makeup artist in my city!!! You can clearly see this when you read them. How is this even possible?!?! I had no previous reviews from any of my customers, so I am wondering why/how Facebook decided to post these….

    • Same thing has happened to me – as well as a LOT of other page owners. It’s not even always the same type of business, it can simply be a business of similar name in the same city that it is happening to. It’s a nightmare. There are several threads about the issue in the Facebook Community Help boards. Apparently people have been reporting this “mixed up reviews” issue to Facebook left and right and no one is hearing a reply yet.

      My favorite part of the mixup on my page is that the business whose reviews are mixed with mine includes MY review of the other business… at a glance, it looks like I’ve reviewed myself. Awesome…

      The only saving grace in my case is that both of us have great reviews and we happen to not be competitors. We actually have a working relationship and refer clients to one another, so it is not critical in our case – but it does perpetuate a confusion we already deal with. Not very helpful.

  16. So Facebook has completely bungled the launch of these starred business reviews. That’s what I am getting from the comments here.

    I have a message for Facebook: quit screwing around with the livelihoods of small business owners and their employees. Get this fixed!

    – Anita

    PS, let’s hope the White House doesn’t ask for volunteers from Facebook to help fix the Healthcare.gov website!!!

  17. I have tried to remove the new review ratings from our business page by using FB help instructions below:
    “Page admins cannot remove individual reviews from their Page. If you prefer not to allow ratings and reviews on your Page, you can remove your Page’s address. To remove your address:

    At the top of your Page, click Edit Page
    Select Update Page Info
    Click Address
    Edit your address
    Click Save Changes”
    However, this does not seem to work and the stars and review capability are still there! I have no objection to reviews BUT I want to be able to respond to them and know who they are from. If anyone finds a way to remove this review system, please let me know.

    • I had the same problem at first. I realized that for some reason in Internet Explorer it wasn’t allowing me to delete the Town/City portion of the address. Followed the same steps in Chrome and I was able to delete the town as well, which is apparently necessary to eliminate that feature from your page’s timeline.

      • I sent a feedback message to the FaceBook team and voila….no more review system on our page. It’s more likely that the changes just take time to implement! so will see if the stars come back or stay away. I’m all for review systems whereby the person placing the review can be identified as a genuine customer and the owner of the business has the right of reply.

  18. Hi Lizzie,

    Could you please let me know how you contacted Facebook? I have all 5 star reviews, but a 3.5 star rating overall on FB. Your help would be greatly appreciated!

    Slava

    • Hello Slava,

      I followed their instructions to remove review stars (post of Dec 4th) and then sent a message on the “Give us feedback” in the help section https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/268228883256323 using ‘comments’ as the topic. So far the stars have not reappeared. I am not sure if the feedback had anything to do with its removal, but it can’t hurt to let FB know that you are unhappy with the review system as it stands.

  19. This new feature of facebook clearly has a lot of gaps and they should answer to these gaps the soonest. Otherwise, this feature can considerably be a cause for a business to drop.

  20. Facebook Starred Reviews? sounds good to me. That’s really a good option when you buy something from the company and leave a rating on their Facebook page. This way companies will know what they are good at and what they need to improve

  21. This is an awful system. I have 16 reviews, but I can only see 12 of them. The 12 I can see are 5*.. But I have a 4* rating. I did notice a couple of my friends had rated my business 2 and 3 stars. I’d never done any work for them, and when I messaged them, they never even knew they had done it. It was just a scrolling error.
    I was lucky because I could see thoses ones, but who else is dragging my score down that I can’t see, or doesn’t even know they’ve done it??
    This needs fixed to allow businesses to address any negative reviews.

    • I had the same exact issue. I had two of my friends rate my business one and 2 stars. All 6 of my reviews are 5 stars yet I have a 4 star rating. Mind you most of the people who rated me were just rating my page and not my actual work since none of them have ordered from me. People shouldn’t be able to rate you anonymously. And they at the very least should be likes to your page in order to leave a review. And instead of one click that someone could make by accident their should be an approval button for them to see before they accidentally post. The whole system is horrible.

  22. I recently had to remove my address due to all the fake reviews of my business. This is just another reason why Facebook sucks and why Google+ is the future of social media. Goodbye Facebook…You guys suck.

  23. As much of a positive step it may be, it still cannot stop the problem of fake reviews.
    but still an added feature for businesses shows the seriousness of Facebook towards business community.
    A commendable step by Facebook.
    A great and simple article by Joshua.

    • I understand that they are trying. I just think that Facebook lacks in the quality department as far as privacy issues and control, and also I don’t think that Facebook should of launched the 5 star review system until the algorithm was solid. This feature was launched prematurely. They should of spent more time on the algorithm. Instead they just launched it… Now I have kids rating my business 1 star. That’s not something I like to see after all my hard work.

  24. As a page owner I can see reviews, but cannot comment on them? Other people seem to be commenting on reviews, but I can’t as the page OR from my personal account. Is there a way to respond to reviews that I am unaware of?

  25. It was only a matter of time until Facebook got into the review game. I actually like it, I think it will lead to more user reviews since most people already have a Facebook account.

  26. Its really good feature for us. Because we want to know that what people think about our services and products.

  27. I just found a 1 star review on my FB business page. Customer is unhappy with a product that he purchased. I sell that brand of toy but not that product. I sent him a private message telling him to contact the company he bought it from so they know what happened. Then to call the manufacturer, who will make it right for him.

    Meanwhile I’m stuck with a negative review that has nothing to do with my store and I can’t add a public comment to let the unhappy customer and everyone who reads his review know how to take care of his issue.

    Does anyone have a way to let me add my comment to the review?

    • That really stinks :(. So sorry. Im wondering how this works as well because on my main FB business page, I was given the choice to allow my reviews to be visible by everyone on my page. When I did this, I was able to see the reviews and what the individual wrote. Also, I could leave comments on the reviews if I wanted to. Only one out of my 9 is blocked from leaving a comment even though I am able to “like” it. This is one of my regular customers and is also become a friend on my personal page. I am not sure why her one review is blocked from receiving a response or if has anything to do with her being on my personal page.

      All of my business pages are different and the settings allow for different things. Its the strangest thing but I didnt do anything to enable comments. It was already set up that way. I think that maybe its just random and each page gets whatever. Idk. I cant wait to get more information as well but im sorry I wasnt of more help.

  28. On one of my FB business pages, I have 5 star ratings and people have judged me off of the appearance of my page and my content, not my service which is odd to me. I can read their remarks and see the ratings but yet on another FB business page I have, I recently received a rating of four stars, but it is grey. I cannot see anything there but it just says there is one rating. In my settings I cannot make it appear on the page but on my main FB business page, I was given the choice to have my reviews show on my page or not.

    On my main page I AM able to respond to the reviews and like them. Out of the ones I have, only one review is not available to respond to so I am not sure how they pulled that off; it is one of my regulars. So some pages are different from others and it is completely odd and frustrating. Even my settings are different on my pages; I can do more on certain ones. FB should really clean up these add ons.

  29. Thanks for all the comments. I had been trying to find those darn comments and reviews on my FB page and could not find them. Once again FB makes changes for the worse!! We have a service company that really does not need to publish our address. I think I may remove it to avoid unscrupulous reviewers!

  30. I have all 5 star reviews, but they are not highlighted on my page. Anyone know why? I have (4) 5 star ratings, yet it gives me a score of 0.0 with no highlighted stars. Suggestions?

  31. Great post, I have a client who deleted the address info on their Page to get rid of bad reviews. It worked on on all platforms except on their Iphone. Anyone have any idea why this is the case?

  32. Hello Everyone,

    In order for the star rating not to appear on your small business page, just remove your business address. Use Photoshop to create a .jpg file and upload it as an image. Click the link to see my result. If you like it please like my page. :)

    https://www.facebook.com/GalleryMSquared

    • I just removed the address and uploaded the image, so no change at this point. :(

    • Max, can you please clarify what you mean by “Use Photoshop to create a .jpg file and upload it as an image. Click the link to see my result’? You used Photoshop to create a JPEG for what purpose? To publish your address while avoiding it technically being published so as to not allow reviews? Please clarify. Thanks.

  33. I was wondering if it is possible to add the reviews from my business Facebook page to my business website?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Compare your business to the industry - Try our new tool