According to a TechCrunch article last Thursday, Facebook may soon be turning on a star rating display for Facebook Pages. An average star rating could soon be seen at the top of a company or brand's Facebook profile and in their preview.
Facebook noted that they launched the ability to give star ratings on mobile in 2012 as a part of the "Nearby" feature. Users can leave reviews for any business that has a public address on their Facebook Page. Businesses cannot remove reviews or ratings, but they can remove the ability to leave reviews by removing their Page's address. Facebook commented to TechCrunch that, "Now we’re bringing the visibility of star ratings to a more prominent spot at the top of Pages’ timeline on desktop and to the preview in News Feed."
What will this mean for brands and social media marketers?
Users will now be able to actually define what they mean by "liking" a brand or company. Likes will no longer be created equal. My review and rating could be used to determine my loyalty, where a like could have a plethora of meanings. Businesses may soon be able to determine the difference between likes and even weigh and score likes.
This might finally fix the conundrum behind calculating "value" and ROI of a Facebook like. Using this data, businesses can assess more in-depth ROI calculation for their organic Facebook marketing. This also adds a new social media measurement component for businesses and social media managers.
Better-targeted Facebook advertisements. I speculate that Facebook advertisers will soon be able to use star ratings to segment their audiences. Brands would then be able to not only target all users who simply like "John's Coffee House," but users who really like John's Coffee House.
The introduction of reviews and ratings on a larger scale could signal a major shift toward brands and companies using Facebook for customer service. Traditionally Twitter has been the leader as a social networking tool for customer service and support, but this could cause a significant shift in that trend.
Star ratings further the ability for our peers to influence purchase decisions. Not only can I see how many of my friends like the restaurant where I am eating tonight, but I can also see the value of their "like." Social word-of-mouth marketing is receiving a major boost with this rollout.
The emphasis on brands' Facebook audience growth will continue to shift from quantity of likes toward quality of likes.
I see this as good news in the social media marketing world, but this may bring further competition for traditional user-review sites. This essentially turns Facebook into Yelp! and Angie's List's biggest competitor with over 1 billion monthly active users.
[Images from Facebook]