Yelp is a social networking and user review site that helps users locate local places. It is the ultimate city guide that taps into the community's voice and reveals current insights on local businesses and services.
As of June 2011, more than 53 million people visited Yelp in the past 30 days. Yelp users have written over 20 million local reviews, 83% of them rating a business 3 stars or higher.
In addition to reviews, you can use Yelp to find events, lists and to talk with other Yelp users.
If you are business owner with a physical location, you can add information on Yelp for your city. You can use a specialized business owner’s account. To sign up go to https://biz.yelp.com.
Enter the details for your business such as name, address, phone number, email, etc. You can even add a history for your company, pictures or your current promotions. Search engines use Yelp, so listing your website on your Yelp profile can mean an increase in traffic to your site.
Once listed users can add reviews with a rating from 1 to 5 stars about your company. Ask your customers, friends, and suppliers to write reviews.
A positive review can mean lots of business and improve your company’s reputation. But Yelp is a two edged sword. A bad review can be devastating to your company.
Bad reviews can come from a disgruntled customer or a fired employee or even an unethical competitor. So it is essential that you have a policy to respond to both good and bad reviews.
Yelp has an automated filter that suppresses a small portion of reviews - it targets those suspicious ones you see on many sites.
Buyers research online before they ever step foot in your business. A potential customer starts most often with an online search engine such as Google or Bing.
They gather more information about you and your products before buying than ever before. Relatively late in the prospect’s decision cycle, do they engage directly with your sales people and they usually possess lot’s of knowledge.
Because the influence of online communities on the buying cycle is growing, you need to take a proactive approach to managing your online reputation. Yelp can be a powerful tool for converting prospects into customers.