If you own a small business, you might be using social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to boost your social presence. However, another site you should highly consider is the ever-informative review site, Yelp.
If you’re not aware, Yelp, founded in San Francisco in 2004, is an online directory service and review site that connects people with local businesses. In January of this year, Yelp crossed the 100 million unique visitor mark for the first time, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. And, just last week, Yelp’s blog stated that “A Boston Consulting Group Study indicated that local businesses with a free Yelp account saw an average of $8,000 in annual revenue from Yelp, and that for advertisers, this figure was more than $23,000.”
For local small businesses, Yelp is a critical component to conducting commerce in today’s environment. People all over the world use Yelp to choose which restaurants they want try, where they want to buy their latest frocks, and where to get their oil changed.
Consumer decisions are influenced and altered by peer reviews on Yelp, and those reviews impact where people will ultimately spend their hard earned cash – Just another reason why your Yelp page should tout your biz big time!
So how do you maximize usage of Yelp? In correspondence with Yelp’s overview video, here are a handful of things you should absolutely do:
1. Complete Your Profile
If you’re new to Yelp, you can easily set up an account by following a quick three-step process. You need to find your business (just know that your business may or may not already be in the system), create your account and verify your identity.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have the ability to provide as much information about your business as you can. Tell potential customers what you do, and what sets you apart from the competition. Also provide pertinent information such as your hours of operation, a link to your website and an unlimited number of photos to visually appeal to would-be customers.
2. Respond to Reviews
When someone leaves a review on your page, whether positive or negative, you have the ability to respond with either a private message or public comment. Be tactful with your response. Customers have the right to voice their opinions and how you respond to those opinions tell a lot about how you conduct business.
Yelp has worked hard to build an authentic community based on proactive reviews and if you provide extraordinary service, people will take the time to let others know about it. That’s word of mouth marketing at its best.
3. Create Exciting Promos
Most people appreciate a special or discount when evaluating comparable products and services. Yelp Deals give you a competitive advantage when coupled with positive reviews on the Yelp website. Yelp Deals can also provide your business with additional exposure as Deals are highlighted on search results, business listings and even on their highly popular mobile site.
4. Monitor Your Traffic & Revenue
Just like you may use tools like Google Analytics to monitor activity to your website, you can use Yelp Metrics to see how many people are visiting your business on Yelp. In addition you can see how people interact with your business, such as leaving comments, uploading images, or mobile check-ins.
This provides an excellent opportunity for you to see trends in both activity and sentiment, allowing you to react immediately to developments in customer reactions both good and bad.
If the above-mentioned tools weren’t enough, Yelp has also recently released the Yelp Revenue Estimation Tool. This tool allows business owners to calculate how much revenue they’ve generated from Yelp customers. Plus, businesses can see any increase in profits if they’re participating in Yelp Deals or advertising on the site.
Do you current use Yelp, or have plans to? We’d love to know about it. Leave us a comment below or chat with us on Twitter to tell us about your Yelp experience.
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