Positive Reviews Across Facebook Spike Following Methodology Change

This month’s Feed It Back social review tracker takes a deep dive into Facebook’s review platform, and reveals that positive reviews left on the channel in June spiked to 91.3% – up from 78% in August 2018, when the platform switched to a binary yes/no recommendation function rather than a rating out of five.

The data, which was taken from thousands of social reviews across the restaurant, quick service and pub industries, reveals that positive like-for-like restaurant reviews left across Facebook in June are up 0.8% on last year; while pubs and bars have seen also seen 0.3% increase on last year’s numbers.

The data clearly reveals the positive impact of Facebook’s methodology switch for the online reputation of businesses across the restaurant, bar and QSR sectors. The rise in positive reviews hasn’t solely bedriven by operators converting neutral scores (those ranging from 2-4 out of 5) into positive recommendations, but instead represents a shift in consumer behaviour in being more positive when offered a binary choice. 

Despite the shifting consumer trends of those using Facebook, the platform’s market share has remained relatively flat between August (7.4%) and June (8.3%), whereas Google has continued to dominate the market, currently sitting at 64.6%, followed by TripAdvisor.”

Commenting on the insight, Feed It Back’s CEO, Carlo Platia said “When it was first announced that Facebook would be moving to the polarised like/dislike system, there was a degree of uncertainty around the impact this would have, and there was a certain amount of nervousness whether this would drive up negative reviews and damage the online reputation of businesses.

“Now, almost a year on from the move, it is really interesting to see review scores increasing so consistently, and not just from converting passive customers into brand advocates, but by reducing those who previously left negative reviews.

“Despite the change in methodology and consumer behaviour, we haven’t seen an increase in Facebook’s market share, which many anticipated due to its new streamlined process. That said, those who post on Facebook are sharing with families and friends, making their recommendation personal, and therefore carrying more weight in some people’s eyes.

“What’s plain to see is that the trend for tailored consumer recommendations, based on what people have suggested they like, alongside the growing importance of online reputation in driving footfall to restaurants, is only going to build momentum. It’s no longer something that operators should be looking at for the future, but something they should be working on right now.”

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