Run a Yelp Campaign to Promote Your Small Business

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

If you want some help with getting set up on Yelp or coming up with Yelp marketing campaigns, definitely contact Catalyst Marketers for more information.

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.


  1. Yes, I got an email from yelp that a customer rated my services as a hairdresser at my salon. I talked about the fact that it happened to some other customers but didn’t ask them to and they rated the salon as well. I signed up to see how the service works and did write a review but it came down after awhile. I think there is a way they can tell if it is a ‘fake’ review. I have had the majority of my new customers say to me they found the salon through web searches and reading reviews. Now I am signed up as a business owner. I uploaded photos, bios, and was even able to put an offer on yelp to help bring in new customers with a cash off offer to help in these hard economic times. A nice thing about the business owner feature is that you can see how many hits you are receiving it is quite interesting to see the trends and to see that this summer was a very tough time for us as we received hardly any views to our profile. I would love to hear from others on how they use Yelp or any other sites to drive new business.

    James Jordan

  2. Yes, I’ve used Yelp to write reviews and post event notices. I have also searched the site for reviews on stores or services. I highly recommend it. However, keep in mind there are always folks with nothing better to do than write a cruel or ridiculous comment.

  3. LaShon -

    Good evening. I hope you are doing well. Thanks for taking the time to write a comment on our blog. I really appreciate it. I’m glad to hear Yelp is working for you in the way that you choose to use it. I totally agree with you on being cautious of certain reviews. Like anything else online or in the real world, business owners and consumers should use their best judgment when reading unusually harsh or even overly positive reviews. With that said, I don’t think those types of things should dissuade anyone from using Yelp.

    Ryan Taft


  1. - Run a Yelp Campaign to Promote Your Small Business... This article shows you how Yelp can amplify the power of word-of-mouth …
  2. Catalyst Marketers - Run a Yelp Campaign to Promote Your Small Business... Yelp is a great online tool that all businesses should be taking …

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