Yelp is a great online tool that all businesses should be taking advantage of. If you’ve never heard of it until now, that’s fine, keep reading…Yelp claims that it is a “fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what’s great – and not so great – in your area”. Yelp is a tool that allows people to rate & review their favorite, and not-so-favorite, local businesses.
So what exactly does this mean for your business? Well, it means that you can use Yelp as a way to generate positive customer feedback about your business. Then, when other potential customers are searching for products and services within your industry on Yelp, you have a better chance of driving those customers to your store or website. Yelp amplifies the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
Another thing that you want to consider about Yelp is that your business is most likely already in their system. It’s an open network and people can review any business, which means people in your area are reviewing your business already, whether you like it or not. Since people may already be talking about your business on Yelp, it makes sense that you join that conversation. Here are a few reasons why being on Yelp makes sense for your business:
- Answer any negative reviews that have been made
- Customize your profile with valuable information
- Run campaigns to move you to the top of Yelp lists
- Encourage customers to write positive reviews about your business
If you’re still a non-believer in the power of this tool, check out the 10 things you should know about Yelp. You’ll discover facts like, as of August 2009, more than 25 million people visited Yelp in the past 30 days and that since it’s inception in 2004 Yelpers have written over 7 million local reviews. More and more people are going to Yelp to write reviews and even more than that are going there to read those reviews prior to making purchasing decisions.
How do I get started using Yelp?
The first step is to create a profile on Yelp. After that, you can search for your business in order to “unlock” it and begin customizing it to fit your needs. Check out their video on how to unlock your business on Yelp.
After you get your business setup on Yelp the way you want, start promoting it in your store. Offer incentives to customers for writing reviews on Yelp. Try not to coax them into positive reviews only. You want to know their honest feedback. That feedback can be used to improve things that aren’t working so well, and continue doing things that customers like. The more people who bookmark and review your business on Yelp, the further it moves up the rankings within your category. If you can get listed on “What’s hot on Yelp”, that’s going to drive more traffic to your store. Be creative in the ways that you promote Yelp to your customers. Be sure to offer them something of value for writing the review or bookmarking your profile, such as, receive 10% off your next purchase for reviewing us on Yelp. Before supplying customers with their incentive, be sure they show you (perhaps on their phone) that they wrote the review and/or bookmarked your profile.
Here are some great ways people are using Yelp to find out information on businesses in and around their area:
- Browse by business category
- Browse by neighborhood
- Find popular events near you
- See what’s hot on Yelp based on bookmarks
Remember to connect with us, other social media experts, and other business owners by signing up for the Catalyst Marketers Facebook Fan Page – A place where business owners and social media experts can converge to exchange ideas around using social tools to grow their business.