Knowing Facebook’s Rules Can Improve Your Business

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These days, there are standards for everything. Facebook, for instance, has their own set of community standards and terms of use. These standards are there to protect the consumer and the business. In many ways, it’s intended to police the consumer, putting the kibosh on hate speech and trolling. Luckily, it is to the benefit of business owners and social media managers alike.

Where to Find Facebook’s Regulations

Facebook’s Community Standards page is a catch-all for everyone who uses the site. They keep things pretty simple. Don’t sell or trade drugs. Encourage respectful behavior. And respect the intellectual, individual, and property rights. While it’s laid out plainly, the Community Standards page does not go deep into detail.

As a business owner or social media guru, what you want is the Terms of Service page. Keep this link in your back pocket. After all, you do not want to be searching for it through roundabouts on the Facebook pages when you need it most.

The Golden Rule Applies

Now that you know your own rights, you’re probably wondering how this can help you as a business owner. Your best bet is looking at the Terms of Service page. The first thing you should take a look at is section 3, labeled “Safety.” Here, it shows you cannot do anything illicit, but neither can anyone else. A person cannot intimidate, harass, or bullying a business. Inversely, a business engaging in this behavior spells disaster for a business’s Facebook page.

That said it isn’t always a simple case of bullying. Creating a false account can be grounds for expulsion from the website. Located in section 4, Registration and Account Security, it says that anyone falsifying their personal information in Facebook is against Facebook’s terms of use. And in section 5, Protecting Other People’s Rights, it says repeatedly infringing or violating someone’s rights or the law could spell expulsion from the website.

The Warning Label to be Aware of

After you read through the Terms of Service page, you may be a bit nervous about one thing in particular. Here it is in legalese:

“[…] you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless you’re content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

You may own what you post on your pages, but Facebook has the right to do anything they please with your posts. As far as adhesion contracts go, this may be scary when it comes to intellectual property. Even so, Facebook protects its users when others use your logo or brand name without your permission.

The part that makes this interesting is how you can use other people’s information. If this applies to you as a business owner, what about original posts by your customers such as reviews?

Sensitive Information

It’s also important for businesses not to post their customer’s information or take any kind of property. Facebook dictates you need consent if you collect information from your customers. This is especially the case for things like comments or user reviews. Say you want testimonials on your website. According to Facebook, you have to do three things. First, you need consent from the customer. Next, you need to make it clear that you and not Facebook is the recipient of the information. And last, you also need to give customers your business’s privacy policy so they know that you will not post their personal information or document.

What This Means for Your Reviews

Sometimes understanding Facebook’s rules is difficult as a business owner. This is especially the case with their terms of service and their online reviews. But, once you have that knowledge under your belt, you’ll be able to navigate Facebook even better. What’s more is your business is more likely to succeed in the world of social media.

This article is just our interpretation of Facebook’s terms and should not be relied upon as official legal interpretation. It’s a good idea to consult an attorney for clarification and how these terms apply specifically to your business and its needs.

If you have any more questions about Facebook, improving your online reviews, or reputation management, we offer free consultations. Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

The New King of Review Sites?

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A new review site is quickly emerging and giving business owners another avenue for online exposure. Google and Yelp have lead the field of online business review sites, but a new study by ReviewInc reveals consumers’ usage of top review sites and neither Google and Yelp made the top spot.

In June of 2016, nearly 2,300 U.S. consumers were asked “Where have you read or browsed business reviews?”  The same study was conducted by ReviewInc in 2015 whose results were compared with the 2016 study.

Facebook has emerged as the top review site!  Say what?  Yes, quietly Facebook has risen in the ranks to be recognized by consumers as a place to obtain business reviews. In the study, consumers were allowed to select multiple review sites. Facebook was selected most often at rate of 34.6%. Yelp was a very close (perhaps even statistically tied) at 32.9% followed closely by Google. Yahoo and Yellow Pages (YP.com) maintained their positions but Yellow Pages declined a little in usage. (This year’s survey added the Better Business Bureau (BBB) while CitySearch dropped off the survey).

Review Site Usage 2015-2016

The rate of change between 2015 and 2016 was most noticeable. Facebook gained 25.8% in usage and Yelp gained a whopping 38.2%!  Google’s usage dropped off by 16.3%.

Review Site Usage Change 2015-2016

So what’s at the root of Facebook’s rise?  Well, it’s not only an increase in Facebook’s average daily usage. At each quarter, Facebook reports both Average Monthly Users  (MAUs) and Average Daily Users (DAUs). Facebook also reports the ratio of DAUs and MAUs as an indicator of usage. After all, there is a big difference between someone who browses Facebook once per month vs. once per day. The ratio has risen steadily from 63% two years ago, to 66% last quarter. But, Facebook knows far more about usage than it lets on.

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Watch for our next post that analyzes Facebook’s daily usage.

And now for our gratuitous but necessary plug:

Most businesses find it difficult to engage every customer in a consistent process. Utilizing a feedback and review management system, such as ReviewInc, is the best way to automate and measure feedback.

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Asking for Bad Reviews?

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Should business owners be required to ask unhappy or angry customers to put a review on review sites like Yelp/Google+? Old fashioned bulletin boards with notes from customers have become more of a novelty. They have been replaced with testimonials … Continue reading

Update to Facebook Reviews

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Many of you may already know that Facebook now allows people to leave you reviews on your Facebook business page. Some of you may already even have some reviews there!

However, Facebook recently made a little tweak to how these reviews appear on your business page. Previously, reviews appeared in a widget on the top right-hand corner of the business page, with a preview of the first few reviews, which you could scroll through.

Now, there is a dedicated tab at the top of the business page:

 

There is also a widget on the left hand side of the page toward the bottom. It defaults to this location on your business page, but you are able to move it around as you see fit.

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Have a business page but don’t see the ‘Reviews’ tab?

Follow the steps below:

– Go to your business page and click ‘About’.

– Go to ‘Basic Info’ and click the ‘Edit’ button with the pencil in the top right-hand corner.

– Go to ‘Address’ and input your full address.

Your page should now display the ‘Reviews’ tab.

For more info, please visit the Facebook Help Center.

Review Site Series: Alternate Logins

Many review sites offer certain features to business owners and reviewers alike. At ReviewInc, one of our favorites is alternate logins. Alternate logins allow reviewers and business owners to log in to the review site using credentials from a different website such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Yahoo!.

Since many people already have accounts with these popular websites, it makes it very convenient for them to quickly log in and access the full functionality of the review site without having to create an additional account on that review site. Or at the very least, it makes account creation for that website a little more simplified.

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Out of 170 review sites that we monitor, 89 support Facebook logins, 30 support Google logins, 16 support Yahoo! logins, 15 support Twitter logins, 8 support Windows logins and 6 support LinkedIn logins.

We feel this is a very important feature because people are more inclined to leave reviews on a review site when it is hassle-free. Any added steps could deter them from leaving a review altogether.

What are your thoughts? Do you think that alternate logins are a great feature? Let us know in the comments below!