Yelp for Small Business Owners

Fri, Jun 3, 2011

Action Plans, Videos

Yelpin’ it up at a recent Yelp Community Party

“Hay” There, Friends!  I’ve prepared a video message about a particularly powerful social media platform for small business owners. From dentists to hair salons, restaurants to car dealerships, all small business owners NEED TO KNOW ABOUT “Yelp”.  Keep yourself in the know by watching this video. Thanks for stopping by!

Does your business have a Yelp account?  Who is responsible for managing your overall social media presence?  Make me accountable for getting social media results for your business by contacting me today!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOeWaudFYZ4[/youtube]

Written copy of the video:

When a friend tells you about a great experience they had at a restaurant or art gallery for example, you might reply with “I’ll have to check that out!”  As a business owner, when a friend tells you about a great experience they had, do you think to yourself, “I wonder if someone could say the same about my business?”

For most small business owners, word-of-mouth marketing is an incredibly important way to generate new and repeat business.  In fact, a report from Constant Contact shows that “63% of small businesses say word-of-mouth is the most effective way to market their business and find new customers.”  Every minute of every day social media enables people to stay connected and share information more efficiently and frequently.  You can see how social media marketing and word-of-mouth marketing are often referred to interchangeably.

I am a firm advocate of small businesses utilizing the social networks that will yield the greatest results for their business.  From dentists to hair salons, restaurants to car dealerships, one powerful social media platform all small business owners NEED TO KNOW ABOUT is “Yelp”.

In case you aren’t familiar yet, Yelp has one purpose: to connect people with great local businesses.   They use the phrase, “Real People, Real Reviews” which is so critical to both business owners and to consumers themselves.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Yelp community party organized and hosted by my local Yelp Community Manager, Annette Janik.  The invited guests included individuals from the local business community, advertisers and primarily the Yelp Elite Squad members.  The Elite Squad is made up of the most passionate Yelpers in the community; those who participate and review often making Yelp an even more engaging, useful tool.  You can see how this network is a real force as it aggregates some of the most powerful content about a business on the internet – credible insight from actual customers.

If a customer had something to say about your business (whether its good, bad, or indifferent), I am sure you would be willing to listen…that just comes with the territory of being the owner.  I recently had a friend go to a spa and truly loved the experience she had.  Upon checking out, she let the owner know about her visit and the gracious owner was appreciative of the feedback.  The owner of the spa even said “Please go tell your friends—spread the word online!”

BUT—what if my friend had a BAD experience?  What if she was disappointed at checkout, went home, logged into Yelp and wrote a BAD review?  If the business owner isn’t listening for that feedback – aka “managing their online presence,” then she might not even be AWARE of that negative feedback.  You can imagine how damaging that could be for business since many others can easily view the review.  It can even more worrisome for a business owner to not have a firm understanding of where and how feedback is circulating online.

My intention is not to scare you, I simply want to make sure you have the information you need to be proactive as a business owner and set yourself up for social media aka “word-of-mouth” success.

Remember, this network is not only for restaurants.  Any business can be reviewed on Yelp from lawyers, venues, doctors and even churches.  “Social reviews” is not an online activity that you decide to participate in or not, people are reviewing your products and services constantly and it’s critical you have someone accountable for listening.  It is important to think of social media is an online conversation about your business.  It is not just enough to listen, you have to engage in discussion and manage the interaction.

Do you have a Yelp account for your business?  Who is responsible for managing the overall social media presence of your business?

Whether you are already using social media or are completely new to the Yelp platform in particular, I can be accountable for getting social media results for your business!

Click here to view the Social Media Services of Hay There Social Media!

Thanks for reading!

~Emily A. Hay

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