Facebook star ratings are nothing new. In fact, if you have your Facebook Page set up in the Local Business category then you should already have the rating feature available to you.
Within hours of reading the Techcrunch blog about Facebook testing star ratings on business Pages, I started seeing them pop up all over the place on local business Pages – the things were following me around…
Where do the star ratings come from?
How Facebook works out how many stars out five you get does appear to be a bit of a mystery.
Common sense would indicate that if you have all 5 star ratings in your ratings section, then you should have 5 stars now displayed very prominently below your Page cover image.
That doesn’t appear to be the case at all!
Over the web, blog comments and indeed Facebook’s help section are filled with disgruntled business owners asking why they have 3 or 4 stars shown right at the top of their pages when reviews in the box further down are all positive 5 stars.
Facebook appear to be avoiding the very valid question.
I have a hunch though…
Ratings have been available on the mobile version of Facebook local business pages/places for over a year now. Indeed, if you log in your business page from a mobile device you will likely see more reviews – they simply don’t show on the desktop version.
Perhaps (just maybe) the combined mobile and desktop reviews are aggregated to give a total star rating at the top of the page?
That’s my theory and I’ll be keeping an eye open for an official Facebook reply – I want to know the answer too!
What do star ratings mean for your business?
Star ratings can be great for your business. On Facebook, they mean so much more than a “like” or the airy fairy “talking about this” number on your local business page. They’re from real people who have taken the time to leave a review of your business.
That’s what Facebook pages should be about – not counting pointless numbers.
There’s always a BUT (or 2)…
1. The ratings don’t appear to reflect actual ratings
The screenshots above are from local businesses close to me, pages I visit regularly. All pages have only 5 star reviews visible in the review section and yet none have a full 5 stars front and centre.
The initial reaction of any normal person is to wonder what is wrong – why weren’t the full 5 stars awarded. I don’t know about you, but if I see a star rating less than perfect on a product or business I am interested in, I’ll go hunting out the “bad” review – I’m not particularly interested in what is right – just what went wrong…
It’s possible that whatever it was isn’t a big deal for me – but I’d like to know anyway. It’s just human nature.
Note that Facebook removed the ability for Page admins to delete reviews some time back. This isn’t a case of less than perfect reviews being hidden by the Page owner!
2. Like any other 3rd party review site – you have no control…
With the new star ratings displayed right at the top of the page, you now have a choice as a Page admin. You can either
allow reviews and accept that some form of star rating will appear at the top of your page
turn off reviews totally
Additionally, you cannot delete or hide unfair or spam reviews. You can report them and hope the Facebook Gods take pity and remove it.
How to add or remove the review feature
The review section that appears part way down the right side column is the section that triggers the star rating at the top of the Page. In turn, this is directly linked to the map and check-in facility of your Page.
To turn reviews on or off:
Click on the update page info button
On the address section click edit
Scroll down to the map. Below the map is a box “Show this map on your Page and enable check-ins.” Tick the box to enable reviews, untick the box to disable reviews.
Click save changes
Turning off reviews will also disable check-ins and remove the map from your Page. Both of these features help to get your page discovered in the new Facebook Graph Search that is slowly rolling out.
Over to you…
Have you seen the new star ratings feature yet? What do you think? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!