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How important are Facebook ratings?

Posted by Audrey Laine Seymour @audreylaine, Nov 14, 2019

Hey guys! If you haven’t heard, I just moved to Nemours Children’s Health System to be the social media marketing manager. I’ll remain connected to everyone here, though, and am now a member of the MCSMN External Advisory Board. I’ve inherited over 30 Facebook Pages and I’m planning to consolidate. Some will be deleted. Some will be merged into the main Nemours Page. These Pages that will be merged have ratings that will be lost once the merge occurs. The current owners place a lot of weight on those ratings and don’t want to lose them, which I understand to an extent. But honestly, as a mom, I’m not going to base where I take my child for specialty care on Facebook ratings. At Mayo Clinic, ratings are turned off. Does your Page have ratings turned on? If so, how important are they to your org?

Our main Facebook page has ratings turned off but our clinic/location-specific pages have them turned on. I don't think FB reviews are truly that important since people only see them if they are on FB. Google and Yelp are much more important to me since people are searching/using maps.

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@audreylaine I don't have any wisdom to share – just wanted to say I am happy you will still be a part of the network and congrats on the new job!

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The only "pro" I can think of is when you search for a company on Google, the result for that Facebook page displays your FB "rating." So for our clinics, it is helpful because we have three times the Facebook reviews over Google reviews. I would theorize that the only way a healthcare Facebook review would influence someone is if they see a friend went there and gave a review, or if the rating is very low.

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We previously placed a lot of weight on Facebook ratings, until just last month. Right at the end of October, we had an incident with an employee's post that gained a lot of traction, and it eventually led to people spamming our page with negative reviews. After our rating starting tanking, we decided that Facebook ratings no longer matter as much, and to disable ratings and let our content speak for itself.

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Turn off ratings.
Turn off ratings.
And then, after that:
Turn off ratings. 😉

It may be a week, or a month, or a year- but you will get burned if you don’t.

Of note- it’s the open ended character of the comments which are so damaging. Now if Facebook had closed ended questions for rating with scales of 1-5 such as wait time, etc then they would be quite valuable and you could tolerate occasional low scores- but with healthcare so highly charged emotionally as it currently stands you are asking people to humiliate or insult your org or worse, specific staff.

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For now, we are keeping ratings on our Facebook pages. I value the opportunity to gather reviews and track them according to categories such as "wait time in office" and "staff interaction." I have a spreadsheet setup for this purpose alone. (I don't track reviews with no text and only star ratings. I see no value in those.) It allows for service recovery and feedback regarding new processes around initiatives (seasonal flu shots clinics) or sore points at specific locations. Right now, our star ratings are 3.9 and up so we have no problem keeping them. Should they spin out of control downward due to a crisis, then yes, I might consider turning them off temporarily.

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I have said and will continue to say that FB ratings are helpful and useful. It just happens to be the only place you can turn them off. Now with that said I would not be concerned about losing them when merging. I have pulled ratings/reviews for FB, Yelp and Google for 1000+ hospitals and 60% of those have FB reviews turned on – just as a frame of reference.

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@liagena

For now, we are keeping ratings on our Facebook pages. I value the opportunity to gather reviews and track them according to categories such as "wait time in office" and "staff interaction." I have a spreadsheet setup for this purpose alone. (I don't track reviews with no text and only star ratings. I see no value in those.) It allows for service recovery and feedback regarding new processes around initiatives (seasonal flu shots clinics) or sore points at specific locations. Right now, our star ratings are 3.9 and up so we have no problem keeping them. Should they spin out of control downward due to a crisis, then yes, I might consider turning them off temporarily.

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Lance,
Your idea to keep a spreadsheet is a very good! I might have to do that myself.

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Hi, @audreylaine! Our corporate page has ratings turned off, but our location pages have it turned on. Like you, I don't put much stock in FB ratings.

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Facebook changed their ratings to "recommendations". Google ratings are more important and have more clout for ranking higher.

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I think we definitely use our Facebook ratings or recommendations to see how we can help any patients that might need to speak with patient relations or with navigating our system whether its socials, calling a service or anything on our website. Our communities are HEAVILY interactive on Facebook compared to anything else, so I think we use Facebook a lot for our evaluations as well.

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We have reviews on for our main Facebook page and also what I call our "location pages" that we don't post content to but people use to check-in and write reviews. Our audience doesn't use reviews very often but when they do, I respond to every single one, even if they're positive. At the end of each month, I put all the reviews into a spreadsheet and share with my department, with patient relations and with VPs, so they can see what people say in a public forum about our organization.

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Facebook changed their ratings to "recommendations". Facebook isn't always the first place business owner's think of when it comes to online reviews, but Facebook reviews are becoming increasingly important.

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