Facebook Star Ratings for Banks & Credit Unions

Facebook quietly rolled out a new feature that allows its users to publicly rate companies on a five-star scale. What does this mean for banks and credit unions on Facebook? Here's what you need to know.
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If you look at the top of your organization’s Facebook page, you may notice a new — and potentially very scary — feature at the top of your page, right under your company name: a rating ranging from 1 to 5 stars. With zero warning, Facebook ambushed millions of social media admins by sneaking star ratings onto company pages. It’s a tiny little feature with massive implications.

(We know some of you are freaking out right now, so we’ll wait as you rush over to your page to see if you’ve got star ratings deployed without your knowledge.)

First let’s look at how it works. If your page has star ratings activated, look at the right column in your Timeline. Underneath the first box where it says “Recent Posts by Others,” you’ll see another box titled “Reviews.” Anyone visiting your page can give you a rating of 1 to 5 stars. They don’t have to ‘Like’ you first, they don’t have to be one of your customers, and they don’t even have to live in your geographic area (or even the same hemisphere. And they can rate you completely anonymously.

Scared yet? If not, then think about this: What if a disgruntled employee decides to wage war and rally their 5,000 friends against you? Or a competitor wants to play dirty? You could have a 1-star rating overnight.

Or what if you make a big mistake — let’s say your online banking system goes down for 10+ days, or your CEO starts acting like Rob Ford, the degenerate mayor of Toronto — you can expect a virtual mob rushing in to give your Facebook page 1-star ratings. It could take you years to build up a good rating… and then minutes to see a vindictive hoard tear it apart.

Read More: 15 of the Best Facebook Pages in Banking to Watch

Why Aren’t Ratings Showing Up on My Page?

Facebook has been running its ratings system on mobile devices since early 2012. The system was tied to Facebook’s check-in feature, so that users with GPS-enabled mobile phones could rate and review local businesses. Without any kind of public announcement, Facebook decided to roll the ratings system out to all pages and platforms. They also elevated its prominence, putting star ratings in prime real estate between the Cover Photo and Timeline — users can’t miss it now.

But some pages have star ratings and some don’t. Why is that? Because Facebook’s original version of star ratings was tied to mobile check-ins, the ratings will only appear on pages that have supplied a physical address as part of their profile.

If you want to add star ratings to your page, you can simply add a physical address to your Facebook company profile.

five_star_bank_facebook_page

This 3-star rating doesn’t look good for Five Star Bank. Even the bank only gives itself 4.5 stars in its profile picture — the top half of the fifth star is cut off.

How Can I Get Rid of Star Ratings?

If you’re like many financial marketers, the thought of allowing the general public to hand out grades on such a high profile site like Facebook probably has you quaking in your boots. So how do you turn it off? There’s a couple things you can do.

First, remove the physical address from your Facebook profile. The other thing you can do is turn off check-ins under the map in the address area of your “Page Info” settings, but this will also remove the map from your Facebook page. Your third option is to change the category of business you specified in your company profile to “Other.”

Key Question: Why is this so complicated? Why doesn’t Facebook just give page admins a simple check box to activate and deactivate star ratings?

Read More: 8 Tips to Maximize the Marketing Value of Facebook Cover Photos

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Preliminary Evaluation of Star Ratings for Financial Institutions

The Financial Brand studied 50 Facebook pages that have star ratings deployed — 25 banks and 25 credit unions, listed in the tables below. Here’s what we found.

The average rating for financial institutions is very high. With an average of 4.4 stars, you’d have a hard time telling that the financial industry was among the most despised. 69% of Facebook users who rated their financial institution awarded it 5 stars.

Don’t be afraid to ask your fans to rate you. After all, they are your fans. In all likelihood, they will give you four- and five-star ratings (at least that’s what the early data suggests).

Credit unions are higher rated than banks. Credit unions average 4.5 stars while banks average slightly less as 4.2 stars, but those are still very high marks for an industry besmirched as frequently as banking.

People will give you a 1-star rating when they aren’t happy. Consumers are twice as likely to give a 1-star rating — the lowest possible score — than they are to give a 2-star rating. What does that mean? It means if people aren’t happy with you, they won’t give you a tempered, thoughtful, reasoned evaluation… they’ll just rush straight for the bottom of the ratings scale as retribution. Consumers are savvy about how averaged reviews are calculated, so angry people want companies that frustrate them to pay dearly with their public ratings. But that simply isn’t that many people; only 7.4% of all ratings given to financial institutions are 1 or 2 stars.

There is no apparent correlation between the size of an institution and its overall Facebook star rating. There is a widely held belief in the financial industry that consumers don’t love larger institutions as much as they love smaller ones.

Engagement equals higher ratings. Financial institutions with high engagement rates on Facebook tend to be rated higher by Facebook users. This, however, is not a hard and fast rule; a financial institution can enjoy exceptionally high engagement rates on Facebook and still see below average ratings.

More votes, more credible. A financial institution with only a dozen user ratings can have the same rating as an institution that’s been rated thousands of times. What’s more credible: 4.5 stars when the company has been rated by 10 people… or 10,000?

The bigger the institution, the more times it will be rated. This one is pretty obvious, but the correlation between the size of an institution and the number of star ratings it receives on Facebook is strong, steady and predictable. A credit union will see an average of one rating for every $3.6 million in assets it has, while banks will see one rating per $38.5 million in assets. The average credit union has received a total of 477 ratings, whereas the average bank has seen 310 — 35% less.

Read More: Lessons From 2 Million Bank & Credit Union Facebook Conversations

Sample of Banks With Facebook Ratings

Facebook Page ‘Likes’ Rating Total # Ratings 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
Happy State Bank 4,449 4.8 27 24 2 0 0 1
Chesapeake Bank 1,258 4.8 40 35 2 2 1 0
Milford Bank 2,092 4.6 63 48 7 8 0 0
Paducah 6,316 4.6 303 244 28 17 4 10
Community First Bank 1,305 4.6 71 56 8 4 1 2
First Hawaiian Bank 3,342 4.6 256 200 32 13 3 8
Farmers & Merchants Bank 5,295 4.6 364 266 57 29 3 9
Glenview State Bank 1,013 4.5 44 32 9 0 1 2
Iberia Bank 23,864 4.5 238 185 26 9 3 15
First Direct Bank 28,582 4.5 1,859 1,398 200 110 38 113
MB Financial Bank 8,921 4.4 74 51 13 5 1 4
1st Bank 25,749 4.4 767 530 114 67 21 35
Independent Bank 4,489 4.3 255 158 49 28 6 14
Liberty Bank 2,016 4.3 31 23 2 2 0 4
Chemical Bank 5,496 4.2 46 33 4 2 1 6
First Bank of Nigeria 228,647 4.2 1,121 649 201 156 57 58
Provident Bank 6,908 4.1 289 176 35 41 16 21
First National Bank 11,162 4.1 421 257 56 45 21 42
Zions Bank 18,860 4.0 516 251 105 96 23 41
Heritage Bank 12,462 3.9 32 21 2 1 0 8
Intrust Bank 7,281 3.8 254 126 46 35 10 37
EverBank 1,478 3.8 107 59 15 8 5 20
Nevada State Bank 23,037 3.7 350 156 56 62 32 44
Kiwibank 17,582 3.5 159 78 13 16 8 44
Mercantile Bank 3,868 3.3 61 22 7 11 7 14

( 08/17/2021 Editorial Note: First Busey Bank acquired Glenview State Bank in June of 2021. )

Sample of Credit Unions With Facebook Ratings

Facebook Page ‘Likes’ Rating Total # Ratings 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
Idaho Central Credit Union 12,317 4.8 444 394 30 9 2 9
CapCom FCU 3,397 4.8 157 132 18 4 1 2
Erie FCU 951 4.8 93 79 9 2 2 1
Allegiance Credit Union 1,192 4.7 82 65 12 3 0 2
VyStar Credit Union 15,728 4.7 1,428 1,136 192 59 21 20
A+ Credit Union 4,110 4.7 137 105 25 3 1 3
Wright-Patt Credit Union 1,816 4.6 111 82 21 7 0 1
Lake Michigan Credit Union 7,372 4.6 472 354 88 17 6 7
Icon Credit Union 1,053 4.6 47 36 8 0 0 3
First Entertainment Credit Union 1,723 4.6 114 83 18 9 1 3
GTE Financial 14,889 4.5 172 131 22 7 2 10
America First Credit Union 88,648 4.5 4,555 3,200 857 292 90 116
Elevations Credit Union 1,095 4.5 351 237 74 23 6 11
Wings Financial Credit Union 3,881 4.5 257 183 41 17 3 13
OnPoint Community Credit Union 30,144 4.4 1,710 1,128 346 128 34 74
Leaders Credit Union 4,958 4.4 268 182 39 32 5 10
Lake Trust Credit Union 1,282 4.4 109 76 15 9 3 6
Denver Community Credit Union 1,161 4.4 62 41 9 7 5 0
Forum Credit Union 1,679 4.4 71 44 16 7 1 3
Kinecta Credit Union 21,701 4.2 377 235 52 42 16 32
Forest Area FCU 1,017 4.1 21 15 1 0 2 3
Goldenwest Credit Union 2,806 4.0 87 49 13 12 4 9
Firstmark Credit Union 11,725 4.0 311 185 43 24 23 36
Arizona FCU 4,142 3.9 20 12 1 3 0 4

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