Molly Buccini

When researching products and services online, most consumers trust recommendations from their families and close friends. Smart marketers are aware that there’s no better place for brands to generate those types of personal reviews than the social media network where 1.3 billion of us are active every month: Facebook.

While brand reach on Facebook has declined, consumer trust on the network has increased since 2013. According to a new report from Social Media Link, 71 percent of respondents said they trust Facebook reviews for brand products and services – the highest trust-rate for any social network – and that was up from 68 percent the previous year.

Facebook brand trust graph

Not all reviews are created equal

The key to a strong review is much the same as a strong piece of content – the human element that appeals to readers on a personal level. In fact, 83 percent of respondents said “personal stories” are what make a product review influential – that number dropped to 62 percent for star-rating systems when users don’t provide context behind the number value.

83 percent of respondents said “personal stories” are what make a product review influential

Likewise, 77 percent said they are more likely to trust a review when it is coming from a family member or close friend. Despite some brands’ efforts to bring in trust through celebrity promotions, as Brafton previously reported, product recommendations from Hollywood’s finests only garnered trust among 11 percent of those surveyed.

Encourage reviews on Facebook for more brand reach

Facebook may have made it more challenging for brands to reach audiences organically, but that hasn’t stopped marketers from continuing to utilize the social network. As Brafton reported, 90 percent of high-performance marketers said they actively post to Facebook and 61 percent said it’s their top-performing marketing channel.

Marketers need to think of Facebook as a community forum if they want to encourage reviews and product recommendations. These reviews help local SEO efforts, build trust and also show that people are engaging with your brand. At the end of the day, as many as 90 percent are influenced by online reviews, making them an important tool for converting your social audience. Any company that’s looking to build its customer base online should use Facebook and other social networks to generate authentic reviews that do a lot of the heavy lifting in building trust.

Curious about how else Facebook can fuel your marketing goals? Check out our eBook on Content for Social Media for more: content for social ebook Small