Facebook used to offer a system that allowed businesses to get reviews from customers that included star ratings. This system doesn’t exist anymore — although reviews left in the past may still be visible.

Update: With the “New Pages Experience” that’s being slowly rolled out, Facebook has stated that reviews from the old/star system will no longer be visible. Click here to learn more about the New Pages Experience.

The replacement for the old reviews system is simply called “Recommendations.” Note, however, that the tab for recommendations on Facebook business Pages is still called “Reviews.” (I think the word “Recommendations” is too big for that space. Also, I suppose it’s only a recommendation if it’s positive. If it’s negative, it’s more like a “review.”)

How it works for the customer

If you click to go to the Reviews tab of a business Page, there is a module that only asks, “Do you recommend (business name)?” with buttons for Yes and No. If you click Yes, you are asked, “What do you recommend about (business name)?” When that is answered, you can choose the audience for the post (such as your Facebook friends) and then click the Post button. If you click no, you are asked, “How can (business name) improve?” When that is answered, again, you can choose the audience for the post (such as your Facebook friends) and then click the Post button.

Then what happens?

When people/customers respond in this way, it results in the recommendation being permanently visible on the reviews tab of the business Page (unless the respondent later decides to remove it). It also gets pushed out to the audience that was selected by the respondent, such as their Facebook friends.

How to gain more recommendations?

Here are some ideas for gaining more recommendations on Facebook for your business:

  • Send emails with a link to the Reviews tab of your Page.
  • Add a “Review Us” link or button on your website that directs visitors to the Reviews tab of your Page.
  • Add a “Review Us” link to your email signature.

How to get more people to see your good recommendations?

  • Recommendations that show on your business Page can be Liked, commented, on, and shared, just like other posts on Facebook. Consider sharing the post to your Facebook friends, to a group, or to your Page followers. (To see all options, you might need to toggle how you’re viewing your Page, i.e., as your profile or as your Page.)

  • When you get a good recommendation on your Facebook page, you can display it proudly on your website too! (Just like any other individual Facebook post, you can click the top-right to get the embed code. )

Can page owners remove a bad review?

Page owners can’t remove a bad review. If a Page owner wants to take action to remove the visibility of a bad review, these are their choices:

  • Find a way to get the person who wrote it to take it down.
  • Report it to Facebook in hopes they will take it down. (Facebook might do this if they find the review to be obscene or not appropriately based on the business’s products or services.)
  • Disable the reviews tab altogether, which will prevent any reviews from showing from that time forward.

Other notes from my studies and experiments:

  • Facebook states that when people use the “Ask for a recommendation” status update, recommendations can show on the business’s reviews page if the business is tagged. However, I have tested and checked this and haven’t yet found an instance of it working.
  • Facebook’s documentation also states that “When customers publicly recommend you in a group or to their friends, it will appear on your Page for all to see.” This is another thing that appears to not be working, as far as I can tell.
  • If you post a recommendation on your mobile device, you’ll have the option to upload a photo too. (This is not available on desktop at this time.)
  • If you go to a person’s profile/ timeline page, there is a link that says “Reviews given.” For some reason, this is showing blank in the places I’ve looked, even when I can see that the person has left a review/recommendation.
  • Also, I’m not seeing reviews given in the actual timelines of people who gave them. This is strange since it’s an actual post created and distributed by that person. (It does show up in their Activity Log and also when doing a search of the profile.)
  • Even though these recommendation posts are set (by default, anyway) to be distributed to the News Feeds of their Facebook friends, it appears that Facebook doesn’t give them much priority. I’m basing this on the low numbers of engagement I’ve seen on the review/recommendation posts I’ve looked at.

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