Positive Reviews on Social Websites

Pitts Barbecue & Online Reviews

Discover the key to positive reviews on social websites

During the past 18 months, I’ve heard client after client ask, “How can I obtain more positive reviews on social websites?”  Given the impact that social websites have on SEO, it’s not surprising that businesses are seeking the secret to obtaining positive reviews on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Trip Advisor, yp.com, and Facebook.  Here’s what I recently discovered about the positve reviews and rankings.  

Michael Budd

Bloomington, Indiana: I had the fortune to catch up with CarDon’s southern region marketing manager, Beth Catoi, and her peers in French Lick last month.  Beth led a discussion about “heroes,” or people who perform at a level above good or acceptable.  Heroes go the 11th mile in continuous pursuit to offer something stellar — not just one time, but every time.

Beth’s discussion was both inspirational and motivational, but it didn’t strike a nerve until I witnessed a hero experience one week later.  My brother, Robert Pitts, is in his mid-40s and and lives in South Bend, Indiana.  After working as a chef all his life, Robert decided to open his own restaurant in 2012. Though Pitts BBQ has only been open for a little over a year, it has accumulated the quantity and quality of positive reviews on social websites that would cause most restaurant owners’ mouths to water:

– 81 reviews on Facebook with an average of 4.7 stars
– 31 Yelp reviews with an average of 4.5 stars
– 24 Trip Advisor reviews with a 5-Star ranking (ranked 6th overall out of 259 restaurants).

To offer some comparison, consider that Lennnie’s has offered amazing service and food to Bloomington, Indiana, since 1989, yet the restaurant has only amassed 108 Trip Advisor reviews.

Ironically, the impressiveness of Robert’s online reviews is somewhat lost on him:  Robert has never used a computer in his life, let alone cared about positive reviews on social websites like Yelp or Trip Advisor.

I may be biased, but I think Robert serves the world’s best BBQ.  Yet even I wondered how Pitts BBQ managed to accumulate such a large quantity of positive reviews on social websites.  To find the answer, I decided to observe his restaurant in action.  It didn’t take long to discover the reason for the positive reviews on various social websites.

As Robert and I sat at a table chatting, a group of friends walked into the restaurant. Both Robert and I noticed as the guests used their smart phones to snap photos as while entering.  Within a minute of the party’s arrival, Robert’s 8-year old son greeted and offered a table to the party.

Moments later, Robert stopped by the table to offer his patrons small samples of Pitts Barbecue’s daily meat selection.  After tasting the daily offerings, the party proceeded to place its order.

Once the party ordered, Robert’s 14-year old daughter and sous chef invited the guests to join her in the kitchen where she demonstrated how the restaurant prepared each daily meat and side dish.

After touring the kitchen and exploring the smokers, the party returned to its table just as Robert finished preparing the order.

I was awestruck.  From the moment the guests stepped into the restaurant until the moment they exited, Robert and his family provided customers with an amazing experience both in the quality of food and service. Thanks to Beth’s discussion, I realized that the Pitts had portrayed the definition of “heroes.”  Working together, they created a hero experience for their guests.

Out of curiosity, I later checked social review sites to see if the “hero” experience had impacted Pitts BBQ on any social websites.  Sure enough, the party had left an amazingly positive review of the restaurant on Trip Advisor.

Regardless if you’re interacting with a customer, vendor, or employee, go the extra mile to make people feel special.  Once you become a hero, then you become capable of offering a hero experience.  Don’t expect your customers to leave a positive review for anything less!

Congratulations, Robert, my brother, I learned from you.



Pitts Barbecue & Online Reviews

Pitts BBQ barbecue.