Disclaimer: I use Yelp everyday. Mostly to find restaurants and bars but occasionally for other local searches like dry cleaners and bars.
Which is why you, the small business owner or startup, really needs to get on Yelp. Because millions (if Yelp is to be believed) of people use Yelp every day to exchange opinions about local businesses.
What is Yelp?
Yelp is an online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play, based on the informed opinions of a vibrant and active community of locals in the know. Yelp is the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what’s great — and not so great — in your world.
Here’s how to get the most out of it as a business owner.
Customers can add a business to the Yelp listings and even start reviewing it without the owner’s knowledge. But only the owner can create a business listing and start responding to customer feedback. Go to biz.yelp.com to get started.
Read what people are saying
Begin with reading, not reacting. For some business owners, reading Yelp reviews can be quite an eye opener. Yelp gives literally anyone with internet access a voice. People can even review your shop or restaurant while they are still there using their cell phone! Yelp says a majority of their reviews skew positive but there will be some harsh ones scattered in eventually.
Business owners can respond to Yelp reviews either privately or publicly. The first rule to remember is that nothing on the internet ever goes away. So rather than think private or public, think are you addressing the customer in a way only they can see (like in an email) or indirectly, like on your website. The second rule is be courteous and engaging. The goal is to work with the customer to solve any problems that arose (given a negative review), not to be defensive.
Your Yelp! page
Spice it up! Add awesome pictures that you take and encourage customers to upload their own. Make sure to add a well-written bio and list your specialties (if you have them).
This is your business and your customers so the possibilities of using Yelp are really limitless. Customers love being engaged by smart and caring business owners. Find ways to reward frequent visitors to your site and your store. Encourage Yelp reviewers (both the positives and the negatives!) by telling customers about Yelp.
Any success stories from using Yelp? Or even horror stories – they are all lessons you can learn from to improve your business.
Original source: Official Yelp Blog