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Report: GMB Has 2x More Reviews than Facebook, 10x More than Yelp

Yesterday in New York, along with SOCi, I presented the findings of the first Localized Social Marketing Benchmark Report (LSM Benchmark Report). The study involved an analysis of the state of local and social marketing for 163 top franchise brands. It sought do three things:

  • Understand whether a relationship exists between LSM performance and real-world results
  • Establish success benchmarks for franchises
  • Highlight brands doing LSM well

SOCi constructed the list of 163 brands from Franchise Times’ Top 100 Largest Franchises and Entrepreneur’s 100 fastest growing franchises. Then 100 locations for each brand were randomly selected and scored on criteria that SOCi and I developed collaboratively: local presence, customer care and local engagement. We focused on local activities on Facebook, Google and Yelp.

The more detailed scoring criteria rolled up into following questions and issues:

  • Had they claimed their local listings/profiles on the three platforms?
  • Did ratings meet an average volume threshold; how did they compare to category and overall averages?
  • Were franchise locations posting content, responding to reviews, Q&A, and otherwise engaging with consumers as permitted by the platform’s tools and capabilities?

A total of 100 points were possible for each brand based on the aggregate score of their locations. We established benchmarks and then awarded points if the companies had met or exceeded those benchmarks. In total almost 16,000 local pages were evaluated across 10 business categories:

  1. Food & Beverage
  2. Hotels
  3. Personal Care Services
  4. Education
  5. Retail-General
  6. Retail-Convenience
  7. Business Services
  8. Auto Parts & Services
  9. Home Services
  10. Real Estate

There was an overall list of winners (above) and additional category leaders in each vertical. What we found — this is a correlation vs causation discussion — is that the overall winners had sales growth 3x the average for all 163 brands (based on Franchise Times’ sales data). Vertical leaders were seeing 2x sales growth.

The average benchmark across all 163 brands was 45.3 out of 100. The overall winner, McAlister’s Deli (which I had never heard of until now), received a total score of 89.9. And in each vertical there was a significant gap between the leaders and the averages for the category. In short, there are a lot of missed opportunities.

I won’t go into the data in depth now (we’re doing a webinar on July 11). But here are some of the high-level observations:

  • 78% of locations were claimed/verified across the three platforms — the highest percentage (85%) was on Google/GMB, which makes sense
  • Google had the most review volume: 2x Facebook and more than 10x Yelp.
  • For the same locations, Facebook had the highest aggregate review score (4.27), followed by Google and then Yelp. On average ratings on Yelp were much lower than for the same locations on the other platforms
  • Remarkably, only 16% of the locations on Yelp were responding to customer reviews; the numbers were higher on Google and Facebook but never above 50% (of locations).
  • Only 2.3% of locations overall were responding to Google Q&A
  • The most local engagement activity/positing is going on at Facebook (by far) with very little happening at Google

The report clearly shows both the weaknesses (e.g., responding to reviews) and areas of opportunity for franchise brands in paying closer attention to their local pages. It also reveals very interesting differences between the platforms and Google’s overall momentum of GMB.

One Response to “Report: GMB Has 2x More Reviews than Facebook, 10x More than Yelp”

  1. Chad Klingensmith says:

    Thanks for the review.

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