Yelp has become a wildly popular online social media site where real people leave real reviews on local businesses. Yelp’s purpose is to assist people in finding great local businesses. In Q4 2011, they had an average of approximately 66 million unique views in each month. Users have written over 25 million reviews on local businesses on Yelp. With just these few numbers provided, you can see how Yelp can be beneficial for your small business.
Set up your business account
It’s simple to set up a business account on Yelp. The accounts are free and allow you to upload pictures, message your customers and advertise specials just for Yelp users. Also, with a Yelp business account you will be able to view business trends and see how the reviews are affecting your business. Yelp provides you with various charts and stats to measure the performance of your business page.
Connect with customers
Once you create an account, you will want to fill out information about your business and add some pictures, if applicable. Then you are ready to start connecting with customers! You will be able to reply to reviews on your business either privately or publicly, and you will also be able to join into conversations. An important tip to remember, people who had a bad experience are more likely to leave a bad review than those who had a good experience are likely to leave a good review. Keep that in mind when you are replying to your customers. Answer each of them with outstanding customer service and it will look better for your small business. This may seem like a silly tip, but you’d be surprised at the companies that respond badly back to customers.
Offer Yelp Deals
One way to attract new customers is to offer deals for Yelp visitors. Yelp has made it easy for you to create these deals under your business account. For example, you can offer a percentage off their bill for first time customers, or offer a free appetizer with purchase of a meal. One of the search options within Yelp allows viewers to search local business with a Yelp Deal going on. This will attract additional customers to your business.
Think of it as free advertising
Since Yelp is free, it’s free advertising for your local business. That is why you want to be sure to respond kindly to bad reviews and do your best to combat any negative comments on your Yelp local business page. You don’t want to focus only on the bad reviews as you will want to encourage good reviews too. When customers come into your place of business, ask them if they are on Yelp and if they had a good experience to leave a nice comment.
The Yelp website is very accessible these days and they also offer an application for many of the smart phones. That means customers will be able to write the review while they are still on your premises. It also means that while they are driving around and trying to find a local business to visit they can look you up on Yelp. That’s your business’s first chance to leave a good impression. Yelp is a powerful word of mouth occasion for real people to leave real reviews on local businesses. You want to take advantage of this opportunity for your small business.