For small businesses, online ratings are nothing new.

Whether you have a retail store listed on Yelp, a restaurant with reviews on Trip Advisor, or a service business partnering with Angie’s List — online ratings have been part of the small business marketing conversation for quite some time.

But this week, online ratings took on a whole new role for small businesses as Facebook confirmed that it would begin displaying five-star ratings at the top of Facebook Pages.

What does this mean for your small business? Read about Facebook’s latest update and much, much more in this week’s marketing news roundup.

1. Facebook adds star ratings on pages

Facebook confirmed this week that they have already begun displaying star ratings on pages, as part of the desktop version of the site.

Star ratings are not completely new for Facebook as they have been collecting star ratings on desktop and mobile for quite some time, but have only displayed them for mobile users.

Here’s what Facebook had to say about the latest change:

“We’re extending star ratings on Facebook from mobile to desktop – to make it easier for people to discover great businesses around them. This is beneficial for both businesses and consumers. Star ratings encourage more people to rate a business, making it eligible to appear in News Feed and help others discover a business they didn’t know about previously. For businesses themselves, this also leads to greater brand awareness.”

Bottom Line: Beyond just being a place for you to communicate with your audience online, Facebook is also a place where new customers are being introduced to your business every single day.

Just as someone will use a search engine or review site to discover information about new businesses, they will also use Facebook to find out what people are saying about you, your business, and the products and services you provide.

And while the number of people who “liked” your page, posted comments, and engaged with your content are all important pieces of information, online ratings could introduce an entirely new element to how people are using Facebook to discover your business.

2. Facebook redesigns its Like and Share buttons

Facebook updated the design of its popular Like and Share buttons, which both appear today on more than 7.5 million websites and are seen 22 billion times each day.

With the latest redesign, Facebook will be retiring the “thumbs up” and adding a simple Facebook “F” logo with the word “Like” or “Share” next to it.

This is the first time Facebook has updated the look of these buttons, which were introduced in 2010.

Bottom Line: Adding a Facebook button to your website or blog is a great way to boost engagement from your site visitors, which is important if you’re trying to get your content in front of a wider audience.

If you’re already using these buttons, don’t worry. The updated logos will appear automatically as Facebook begins to roll out these changes.

3. Companies continue to struggle with customer satisfaction on Facebook

According to new data from Zendesk, a majority of consumers remain unimpressed with the level of customer service being offered by brands on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

In a survey about customer service behavior, consisting of more than 30,000 companies and their customers, Zendesk found that Twitter and Facebook ranked the lowest in customer satisfaction, scoring 81 percent and 74 percent respectively.

Phone interactions continue to be the highest ranking communication method, with a 91 percent customer satisfaction rating.

Bottom Line: While Facebook and Twitter may never replace one-on-one communication methods for customer service, they should still have a role in how you’re responding to customer feedback online.

In some cases, that could mean responding to a fan’s question directly on Facebook. In other situations, you may want to take complaints or larger issues offline, and give them a chance to call or email you directly.

Find out how you can respond to fans and followers on social media without being stuck online all day.

4. Adobe forecasts record holiday sales

Despite being one of the shortest holiday shopping seasons in the last decade, new projections from Adobe indicate that this could be one of the busiest seasons yet.

In its analysis of 450 billion retail website visits over the past seven years, Adobe predicts record sales for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

Other interesting findings include:

  • 36 percent of holiday shoppers say that social will influence their online purchase decisions
  • 30 percent of people are planning to increase their online shopping
  • Thanksgiving will be the biggest shopping day on mobile for the entire season

Bottom Line: With so much riding on this busy time of year, you can’t afford to wait any longer to start planning your holiday promotions.


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