Two months ago I suffered from intense back pain. I texted a few friends to see if I could get a recommendation for a chiropractor. When that didn’t work, I turned to Facebook. Rather than put up a “looking for a recommendation” request myself, I did a quick search on some local groups to see if anyone had already asked the question.
Lo and behold, just a month ago, my friend Jill had asked for a recommendation for a chiropractor. I scanned the recommendations she got, and I saw that an overwhelming majority of them pointed to two chiropractors. I browsed both profiles, and was impressed by them; they both had updated hours, maps, quick response times, and had informative posts and links on their wall. I ultimately chose the one who offered a holiday special rate.
When I went in for my first appointment, I told the doctor how I’d stumbled upon him through FB.
“Yeah, my friends are great. They’re always recommending me,” he admitted.
Whoa – wait up. Had his friends just been tagging his FB page in order to get him business, or did they actually think he was good at what he did?
Luckily, he proved to be an amazing chiropractor. I later discovered that part of the reason his friends were so keen about recommending him was because he’d offered them free sessions when he was still interning.
Why Ask FB?
I mean, there are recommendations on Google, Yelp, and other resources. So why do so many people ask for recommendations on Facebook?
Well, first of all, people want to get recommendations from those they personally know. Your friends aren’t going to recommend you a product or service unless they really trust it.
Even if you ask for a recommendation from a large local group, and get strangers answering your request for a recommendation, the fact that they are in the same group helps break the rapport barrier. And I’ve found that many people on Facebook are very willing to share advice and give recommendations out of pure goodwill.
I’ve benefited from great services and got some amazing deals from advice and recommendations on Facebook, and generally, it’s all been really reliable.
Its part of Facebook’s push to make its platform more than just an echo chamber for our inner narcissist. They want users to get tangible benefits in their day-to-day lives. In fact, FB recently added a “Recommendations” tab on many local FB groups. This could be great if you’re new to a neighborhood or city and want to get an insiders take on the lay of the land.
4 Factors that Motivate FB Recommendations
1. Friend Your Clients
Many people are busy. Recommending someone on FB can only take a second, if the profile I want to recommend is accessible. But quite it’s just not.
For example: My wedding hair stylist was awesome, and I would gladly share her number if you asked me in person or on Whatsapp. But on Facebook I can only tag her if we are friended, or if I follow her business page. Since she never FB friended me or asked me to like her page, it makes it very inconvenient to tell others about her when I see requests for hair stylists. But I do frequently and easily recommend the flower/decor designer who made my bouquet simply because she’s easy to tag.
FB Marketing Tip: Make sure you “friend” your clients and invite people to “like” your FB page – it makes it way easier to recommend you that way.
2. Join Relevant FB Groups:
If someone’s asking for a recommendation on a specific group, I can only tag the person I want to recommend if they’re in that group. If I want to recommend someone who’s not in the group, then I can’t just tag them in the post. I’d have to type in their name and phone number by hand, and unless I’m recommending my BFF – ain’t nobody got time for that.
FB Marketing Tip: Make sure you join all groups where people may find you relevant. And if someone recommends you, make sure you follow up by sharing your FB page in the “reply” section using your @PageName (i.e. @CrunchyBuzz).
3. Inspire Reciprocity
Did a specialist/business offer me their services as a gift or work on me for free when I needed it? If so, I’ll never forget it and try to recommend them whenever I can. When someone does me a service as a favor, I’ll always be happy to give a recommendations.
FB Marketing Tip: Try to gift or discount your services or products to friends, and let them know you’d appreciate them spreading the good word in return.
4. Let Your Clients Know
Sometimes, by the time I see a request for a recommendation for let’s say a videographer, and seven or eight people already responded. In that moment I could tag the person I have in mind or simply continue scrolling down, thinking, eh, its no use. But if I know the person appreciates recommendations then I’ll still tag them simply because it means a lot to them.
FB Marketing Tip: Make sure you let your friends/former clients know just how much you want extra business and appreciate their recommendations.
Don’t Be Shy to Use These FB Marketing Tools!
Don’t hesitate to ask friends who enjoy your services to recommend you. A few weeks ago a friend messaged me with a link to a post asking for a recommendation for her graphic design company. I probably wouldn’t have stumbled on the post myself. But since I loved her services, and she made it so easy for me to help her out with a recommendation, I was more than happy to do so.
And, perhaps because FB logarithm noticed I responded to a recommendation for “graphic design” in the past, the next time someone asked for a recommendation for graphic design, it popped up in my newsfeed. So that time, I quickly recommended my friend without any prompting.
Although it may be uncomfortable to put yourself out there and ask for people to like your page and keep your business in mind, it totally pays off in the long-run. Not only do FB recommendations bring in business through FB, but they affect your Google ranking as well, And the beautiful thing about FB recommendations on groups is that they’re basically there forever. This builds an organic ripple effect that gets your business to continually spread.