Is Facebook’s 5-Star Rating Unfair?

In the past few weeks, you may have noticed the option to rate a local business on the Facebook app on your phone. You can rate the business on a scale of 5 stars and there are murmurs that this option will soon translate to Facebook’s regular desktop version. As if Facebook Likes weren’t scrutinized enough, with Page owners scrambling to gain numbers, you’ll now have an additional number to worry about!


What is it?

In addition to Recommendations, Likes, Shares and Starred Reviews, Facebook is continuously trying new ways to track user engagement. Likes signify a general interest. Brand affinity is expressed in comments and Recommendations. To get the visual and numerical worth of a Page, the 5 star rating has been implemented in this test round. The 5 star rating system is really considered to be a standard that most people are familiar with, which is why so many other sites use them (Google, Yelp and old-Zagat).

Why is it important?

Reviews and user generated content go beyond what business and Page owners are able to fully control. And yet, this influence will play a big role on how visible their brand is. Seems kindof unfair, doesn’t it? Some experts predict that ratings may play a role Graph Search and how News Feed stories are distributed. Which makes sense. Facebook is definitely testing this rating system and collecting data because they intend to do something meaningful with it.

What does it mean?

Whether you like it or not, one thing is for sure. As a business owner, you’ll have to be more aware of reviews (mostly negative) and how they impact your online brand reputation. This means increased monitoring your Page for comments, questions and complaints, as well as paying more attention to individual star ratings, which could potentially bring down your overall high score. Unfortunately, it looks like these star ratings are anonymous for now, unless you happen to be friends with a person who has rated the business.

Why does it matter?

Another way to rate businesss will always present itself with positives and negatives. For a booming business with tons of happy customers, it’s a great way to take advantage of customers who are willing to give you 5 stars. You can even invite friends, co-workers, employees, family members etc. to give 5 star ratings as well! On the other hand, if someone really wanted to, they could harness all that energy and give a competitor 1 star ratings.

The problem here is that star ratings count immediately towards the overall score without any sure way to know that the person who actually gave the rating dealt with the business at all. With Amazon, reviewers are verified to ensure that they actually purchased the item. For Yelp, “legitimate” reviews are shown by users who regularly visit different businesses and leave reviews. Meaning that a regular Joe can’t just sign up on Yelp, leave 1 negative or positive review, leave, and expect their review to count. Google reviews are now tied to your real name. But for Facebook, you can go around leaving 1-5 star ratings as you please!

This system is just in the test phase for now and if Facebook wants to take it to the next step, they should look deeper into the situation to make the ratings fair for business owners while being easy for customers.

Let us know what you think about the 5 star rating system and check out Emarketed on Facebook.

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