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.

Facebook Usage Hit By Post-Election Blues

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President Trump is well known for using social media during and after his campaign. The banter on social media certainly hit a peak right up to the election. But something has changed. Most Facebook users have noticed a significant increase in strong opinions posted on facebook by friends and media outlets. How much has this impacted usage on Facebook? ReviewInc conducted two surveys in late January 2017 and the results were shocking.

The survey of 2,002 U.S. Consumers asked them about their use Post-Election Facebook usage. The survey showed that more users use Facebook less than those that used it more including 5.7% that stopped using Facebook altogether.
Facebook Usage After Election 2017

In contrast, ReviewInc conducted a survey about Facebook usage and asked users to quantify the amount of time they actually use Facebook daily. Based on ReviewInc’s 2016 survey, a significant increase was observed in 2016 over 2015.  At that time, ReviewInc declared Facebook the new King of Review Sites (see Facebook Usage 2016 article for more details), but the 2017 results paint a very different picture. Consistent with the post-election usage survey, usage was also down.  The trend did not continue from 2016.FacebookUsage2017Why the decline? Perhaps users are fed up with offensive news stories or postings by their friends. But, Facebook’s other properties including Instagram and WhatsApp (not to mention International Facebook Users), could still help Facebook’s overall social media volume. It is likely that this is just a bump in the road for Facebook. Eventually, users will likely flock back to the social network powerhouse when new issues arise and especially with all the new features Facebook plans to develop.

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.

 

Most Effective Advertising in 2017

Bias In ReviewsOver the last four years, ReviewInc conducted several studies of over 10,000 U.S. Consumers asking what they seek out most before selecting a business, service or product. Now, with four years of data, a trend is clearly emerging and once again Review Sites are increasingly more critical to the purchase decision at the expense of some many other traditional medium.

The study asked consumers to provide only one answer to the following simple question:
When choosing a service or professional (such as a doctor, mechanic, plumber, attorney, etc.) what is most important?

Each respondent was provided with a multiple choice list from which they could only choose one answer. While multiple answers could have been allowed, ReviewInc wanted a more discerning answer so that it could pinpoint what was most influential to the consumer.

2017-BusinessInfluencePieChart

In this year’s result,  Review Sites again topped the list for the most influential component followed by a Company’s website (as in previous years). What was more interesting was the year over year trend. The importance of Review Sites continued to increase by a factor of over 19% from 2014. The Company website‘s influence remained steady and within the margin of error which could account for the very slight decline. More importantly, the influence of the traditional yellow pages continued declined. It appears that much of that drop was picked up by the influence of Reviews. Online advertising also appears to have remained stable compared to last year. Most notably, were the differences in gender and age groups.2017-BusinessInfluenceYearOverYearIn previous studies, females outpaced males in the Reviews choice. However, this year, the men have caught up. Females seemed to have made the leap forward last year (2015 study) while males seemed to have made the leap forward this year.2017-BusinessInfluenceByGenderNearly all age groups displayed a significant increase in preference for Review Sites. Of particular interest was the senior citizen generation showed a significant increase in the choice of Review Sites – proving adoption of the digital medium while abandoning the “tried and true” traditional yellow pages.

2017-GenerationDifferences-ReviewSites

Speaking of the traditional yellow pages, we can readily observe the difference between this year’s survey results and those of 2014. Interest and preference in using the traditional yellow pages are down by around 40% from only three years ago. The decline is most apparent, again, in the older generations.2017-GenerationDifferences-YellowPages

So what does this all mean?

It’s Still All About the Reviews

  • The importance and influence of Online Reviews is growing, and it’s critical to your business (much more than your website)
  • If you’re investing in your business website but are ignoring your online business reputation, you are likely missing out on a huge opportunity
  • The traditional paper-based Yellow Pages is a fast declining resource for people middle-aged generations (which tend to be the more affluent groups)
  • Despite the importance of digital advertising, the influence of Reviews continues to dominate and this isn’t likely to change.

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

How Seriously Should You Take the Threat of a Bad Review?

47985516 - fearful of boss employee is behind a chairIn today’s reputation based economy, bad reviews can wreak havoc on most any business. Consumers have wised up to this and use it as leverage to get their way with businesses and services by just threatening to write a bad review. But how often do consumers do this and do they follow through with it?

In October 2016, ReviewInc conducted a consumer survey of 2,000 U.S. Consumers asking if they have ever threatened to write a bad review (such as on Yelp, Google, Facebook, etc.) for a business when they have been unhappy with their service.

The survey found that while nearly two thirds of consumers have never threatened a business with a bad review, that more than one third of consumers have threatened a business with a bad review when they were unhappy.

threatening-a-bad-review

When examining the data by gender, males were about 10% more likely to threaten a negative review than females.

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Age group also matters. The older the customer, the less likely they are to threaten a bad review.

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Even income levels mattered showing that the higher customers’ income level, the more likely they are to write a review.

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So a millennial male making more than $75,000/year is the most likely to threaten to write a bad review, where as a women over 55 years old making less than $75,000/year is the least likely to threaten writing of a bad review.

Whether they actually follow through with their threats is hard to gauge, but we did conduct another survey asking how many bad reviews consumers actually wrote. The good news is that 57.6% never actually wrote a review and only 5.5% regularly write bad reviews.

writingabadreviewSo what should a business do?

First and foremost, make sure you deliver a great product and great service. Those two ingredients make the best case for obtaining good reviews and minimize the likelihood that anyone will write a bad review. In most cases, businesses are likely to receive more positive reviews than negative reviews. If that is not the case, the business might want to take a long hard look in the mirror.

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Businesses should also encourage their customers to give them honest feedback (either privately or on a popular review site). Furthermore, businesses should act on the feedback by improving where they under-perform and reinforcing where they over-perform.

This advice might seem obvious to some, but our experience is that most businesses shy away from asking for feedback simply out fear of criticism or even the unknown. But hey, we are in a reputation-based economy, so it’s time to “get with the program”.

 

Is Pokémon Go Hurting Your Social Media Marketing?

monster-eating-social-mediaThe Pokémon Go craze has taken over and after a month since its introduction, we wondered just how much of an effect it has on your business’s social media and reputation marketing. So we surveyed over 3,300 U.S. Consumers and came up with some insights that might surprise you.

Our survey presented respondents with choices of 6 representative and popular social media sites/apps. We then asked the respondents to answer a simple question “Which of These Did You Use Today?”  Not surprisingly, Facebook topped the list (see our previous posts and research study on Facebook Usage).

Which Did You Use Today

But we were astounded that Pokémon Go usage nearly matched Instagram and Snapchat. Additionally, it exceeded the usage of Twitter. But then we started to look at the age demographics of the responses which told us a very different story.

Which Did You Use Today - Facebook by Age

While the responses that included Facebook as a choice showed a broad usage of Facebook across all ages, there was a noticeable difference among the Millennials (ages 18 to 34). Digging further, we could see a very high usage of Pokémon among the Millennials that was not observed in Gen X-ers (ages 35-54) and Baby Boomers (ages 55+). Actually, we were honestly surprised with any Baby Boomers playing Pokémon… seriously?

Which Did You Use Today - Pokémon by Age

While it has been well established by now that Millennials prefer to use Instagram and Snapchat, we compared their usage of these apps with Pokémon Go.

Which Did You Use Today - Apps by Age

At this point, it was less surprising to see that Pokémon Go usage correlated highly with apps popular among Millennials.

We compared all these results to Yelp, a very popular review site with broad appeal to all age groups. It was interesting to see that Yelp’s sweet spot appeared to center among Gen X-ers, and even after adjusting for the margin of error, there was no particular correlation with Pokémon Go.

Which Did You Use Today - Yelp by AgeThis is welcome news for any business focused on Social Media and Reputation Marketing. In fact, Yelp recently blogged on how to Catch More Guests for Your Restaurant with Pokémon Go!  If you’re business is big on Yelp and Millennials you might want to pay attention to this great article.

What does this all mean to you if you are a business owner?  First, don’t fret too much about Pokémon Go’s impact on your business. It likely has very little impact. Second, if your business attracts many millennials, you might consider some kind of promotion associated with Pokémon. Finally, stay focused on providing the best service to all your customers because that is the ultimate way to get great reviews.

How ReviewInc Can Help

Pardon the gratuitous plug, but ReviewInc can help you engage your customers with social media. Most businesses find it difficult to engage every customer in a consistent process and follow up with social interactions. Utilizing the services of a feedback and review system, such as ReviewInc, is the best way to automate, measure and amplify customer 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.