“Likes” vs. Customer Reviews – Whose Side Are You On?

In a recent article by Kara Nortmann, she declares that the traditional written “online review” as we know it has met its match in the now unmistakable Facebook “like” button. With 500 million users and counting, Facebook has become the most visited site on the web – and not only are these users visiting the site everyday, but they are using the “like” button on a regular basis to show support for countless companies, brands, and products.

Because people are more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend, it’s easy to see why the Facebook “like” button has become so popular: the more people who “like” your business, the better your exposure, the better your reputation!

But if it’s true that people are now turning to Facebook “likes” for their product recommendations, are they ignoring online reviews? From product reviews on Amazon to restaurant reviews on urbanspoon.com, to local reviews on Google Places, online reviews are everywhere. Chances are, that if you’ve run a Google search on a specific business or product recently, more than one review site popped up on that first page of results. And although personal recommendations are always preferred, recent statistics show that while 90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they know, 70% will also trust opinions of unknown users!

So, my question to the readers is this: Who are YOU more likely to trust? Facebook “likes” or online reviews?

-Stephanie G.

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One Response to “Likes” vs. Customer Reviews – Whose Side Are You On?

  1. Stephanie C. says:

    I think it comes down to the amount of info./resources required prior to making a decision (i.e. where to go for dinner vs. booking a vacation). While I may “Like” a certain brand or business, that doesn’t tell prospective customers whether it’s the value, price, or any number of other factors that may have influenced the habitual click of the mouse. I was recently looking for a hotel & was immediately directed to the TripAdvisor site, which ranked nearby options by top value & first-hand customer experiences. Short of entering the city and booking the obvious choice, the work was done for me. From a business perspective, I think the Facebook “Like” represents a growing & unharnessed trend for customers to serve as brand advocates; that said, individuals concerned more with quality feedback than the quantity of credulous “Likes” associated with a given Facebook page will continue to serve as an active audience for credible review sites.