Yelp, the company that relies on crowdsourcing for reviews and user recommendations, is most closely associated with diners and local eateries. It might surprise you, though, to find out that Yelp's biggest category isn't restaurants, it's shopping. In fact, with over 20 categories of businesses and services, Yelp is a great platform nearly any company to find and engage customers.
Is your local business listed on Yelp? Here are eight reasons why it should be.
1. Remember your roots. No matter how big or widespread they are now, all businesses got their start somewhere. Yelp keeps you connected to your local community and the customers who helped you get started. Listing your business on Yelp lets them know you still feel a sense of hometown pride.
2. You'll get instant feedback. Focus groups, evaluations, questionnaires, and customer surveys take time and money. Yelp reviews give you quick, no-cost feedback on how you're doing right now, allowing you to make adjustments in near real-time.
3. Yelp will help. The company offers a whole set of free tools businesses can use to connect with customers and Yelp users. You can gather analytics, track visitor engagement, add important information to your profile, and even respond to customers -- all right within the Yelp ecosystem.
4. Good reviews mean more customers. Many businesses rely on word of mouth and referrals for continued growth, but that means customers have to remember to talk about you. A healthy list of good reviews is like a recorded message playing on endless loop, so let Yelp do the talking when your fans aren't.
5. It's easy to offer deals and discounts. Entice people who visit your Yelp page to become paying customers by offering a gift certificate or deal. There's no upfront cost to you and setup only takes a few minutes. It might be just the nudge needed for someone who's been on the fence about trying out your product or service.
6. Get noticed on Google. Businesses listed on Yelp rank very high on the results churned out during Google searches. It can be tough for a small local business to stand out in searches, especially if their competition is a well-known nationwide company so a listing on Yelp levels the playing field a bit and gets you noticed.
7. Look professional. Savvy business owners must pay attention to what matters to customers and, when it comes to reviews, Yelp is what matters to them. To ignore the platform by not creating a profile sends the message that you don't know what your customers want. Or worse, you don't care.
8. Keep an eye competitors. Perusing your Yelp category gives you an easy way to watch what competitors are up to and look for opportunities to fill needs they aren't meeting. Check out your competition's reviews to see what people like about them -- and what they don't. Use that information as you create your next marketing strategy or ad campaign.
Do you use Yelp as part of your social marketing strategies? How has it helped you generate more customers and leads
Image: Michael Dorausch