We are all aware that word-of-mouth recommendations from people you know are the most trusted source of advertising. We also know that we’re also more likely to act if we receive a positive review from friends or family. That's great news, as social media has expanded the reach of word-of-mouth, making it an advertising tool that can be utilised on a much wider scale.
Word-of-mouth was once limited to your whereabouts and your general sphere of friends and family, yet social media has made it possible for word-of-mouth recommendations to reach much wider and larger audiences. Which is great as a source of free advertising.
And there is no platform doing this better at the moment than Facebook.
As an update to the industry news, yesterday Facebook released a new set of tools that not only make it easier to give recommendations to your connections, but also to act on them, with new options to buy, book and get quotes within a few taps.
Here’s how it works:
“Whether traveling to a new place, looking for a hair salon, or searching for the perfect place to eat, people already turn to their friends, family, and local Groups on Facebook for advice. We’re rolling out a new tool that makes it easier to get and organize all those recommendations in one place.”
This new tool is an option to put out a status asking for recommendations from your friends. When you write a status seeking advice, Facebook will detect your query via it’s machine-learning systems and suggest that you turn on recommendations for your post. If you do, a 'request suggestions' call-out will appear in the News Feeds of your connections notifying them that you’re looking for advice.
The great thing about this is its focus on highlighting local businesses. You can switch on the feature for any post in which you’re seeking recommendations, the only possible downside is that businesses themselves will have no control over how they’re recommended or highlighted.
Looking for an Event?
The second element that Facebook announced relates to events happening near you. In order to improve their offering, Facebook are launching a new app dedicated to events.
They have also revamped the Events bookmark within Facebook itself, making it easier to see what events are happening near you, as well as what friends are hosting or attending events. This again highlights the word-of-mouth element, as if your friends are hosting or attending an event, you are more inclined to go, right?
The One-Tap Option
With a combination of events and recommendations together, Facebook have then introduced the most significant improvement. Now that you have a list of recommendations of places to eat, and get your haircut, Facebook is now making it easier for you to take action on those recommendations. With the new one-tap options to order, make an appointment or buy tickets.
As explained by Facebook:
“We’re introducing some new ways for people to take action faster once they’ve found something they want to do or a place they want to go.
You can now order food from restaurants directly from their Facebook Pages. Simply click “Start Order” on any restaurant’s Facebook Page that uses Delivery.com or Slice.
Request an appointment:
For local businesses that require you to book an appointment, such as spas and salons, you can now request a time via the business’ Facebook Page and view their entire slate of services and offerings. They’ll then get back to you on Messenger to confirm your appointment.
Get a quote:
Some local business Pages will now have a “Get Quote” button at the top that lets you easily and quickly request a quote from the business.
Get tickets to movies and events:
For many new films,you can buy tickets straight from their Facebook Pages via Fandango. In partnership with Ticketmaster and Eventbrite, they're also making it possible for people to get tickets to other events — free or paid — directly from the event page on Facebook as well.
Capitalising on word-of-mouth is a very clever play for Facebook, and it’s nice to see that it is going to boost local businesses social media marketing rather than larger companies. Maintaining and increasing engagement is crucial to Facebook and it’s on-going growth plans.
So make sure you always stay on top of what Facebook are doing to make it easier for you to promote your business!