With social media sites dominating the Internet these days, it’s no wonder businesses have started taking their marketing online. This allows them to monitor how their content is being received and responds to positive, or negative, perceptions. You always hear about how Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are the best social media sites to be part of. What you don’t normally hear is just how useful social review sites can be as well.
Yelp is a social reviewing site that enables people to search for local businesses based on customer ratings and reviews. This allows businesses to showcase products and services while connecting with local customers.
If you believe that Yelp is not as profitable as other sites, and therefore not worth your time, think again. The company reported that is had 121,000 active advertisers with a 76 percent repeat rate, and local revenues grew 40 percent with Yelp. Not to mention, with 60 million registered users and over 20 million reviews on the site, it’s fair to say people use Yelp as much as other social sites.
You may think the first step in utilizing Yelp as a marketing tool is to set up a profile, but before you do that, check out your competitor’s profiles. You need to understand what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong so you can do everything better. Once you’ve analyzed the competition, the next step is easy. Set up your profile with all of the important information. You’ll need your name, category, link to a website, and detailed address and phone number. Include in your address any landmarks or cross streets to make it easier to find. Make sure you detail your hours and keep your information search engine optimized at all times. When it comes to your photos, make sure you have at least five, all of which should be high resolution. Include a photo or two of the front of your business so new customers can find you easier when walking or driving by.
The most important part of using Yelp as a marketing tool is to respond to reviews. Positive reviews, while useful on Yelp, can also be used on your website. You can grab the best reviews and feature them on the homepage of your website. Just make sure you cite the reviewer’s first name as well.
Yelp is useful because of negative reviews as well. 33 percent of all negative reviews can be turned positive if you take the time to respond. If you reach out to the person who posted a negative review and either explain what happened or use their review to make a change, it is likely that the one customer will turn into more.