Why Authors Should Not Enable the Facebook Reviews Tab

It sounds like a good idea. If you use the new Shop tab on your Facebook page, the Facebook Reviews tab is automatically one of the default tabs that show up on the left side of your home page. In the screenshot below you can see the default tab on my test Facebook page.

Facebook reviews

 

 

 

At first glance you’re probably saying, Oh Goodie! But the reality is this review tab can be more trouble than it’s worth. I’ll give you a few reasons why and then give you an alternative.

Why You Shouldn’t

The first thing to understand is that Facebook will not verify any reviews on your page. In other words, if someone wants to leave a review of a book and has never read the book, Facebook doesn’t care. They don’t screen reviews. You can file a grievance of sorts and ask Facebook to take down the bad review, but that is not always a foolproof alternative.

For instance, if someone says they read your book, and they didn’t, Facebook has no way of knowing that and will not take your word for it. I learned this the hard way while doing some crisis communications for a brand that was being trolled by people who never actually visited the store. If they say they did, it’s good enough for Facebook. Facebook is very slow to move on these requests, in my experience.

What Facebook won’t do is take down reviews you don’t like. It’s one thing to have bad reviews on your Amazon page, it’s another thing to have them front and center on your Facebook page. Facebook is social media after all, and trolls are sometimes a side effect of being there. When trolls sense a feeding frenzy, the game is on.

What You Can Do Instead

First, the good news is the Reviews tab is optional. Even though it shows up by default you can turn it off by going to Edit Page on your page Settings and turn it off. Just go to the tab and slide the bottom to off (see below). Simple fix.

 

I recommend redirecting potential reviewers to your Amazon author page with a message in your profile, a line in your About section, or a pinned post from time to time on individual books. If you have the right ratio of content that engages, it’s okay to ask for reviews on your Facebook page. If all you ever do is ask for anything, be it a sale or a review, your content strategy is failing and readers will not respond.

The bottom line is that you cannot control the reviews on your Facebook page, or on Amazon for that matter. But people who actually read your book are more likely to review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you use the Shop tab, you are redirecting people to your book pages where the reviews are very easy to access.