We’ve talked about the benefits of including Yelp in your online review strategy, largely because it’s one of the most well-known sites strictly used for reviewing businesses and communicating with your customers. However, we haven’t talked about the Yelp hierarchy on the user side of things. It’s a weird and wild world of kingdoms, dukedoms, board leaders, managers, elite parties, and so on. Why are we telling you about this? So you can see how the backspace works, that place where your Yelp-based online reputation is created so you can optimize your strategy.
Hold a private-party for elite Yelpers to spread the word about a new service. Run a check-in campaign that offers Yelpers a discount, a freebie or exclusive visit just for checking into your business. Competition can be fierce among Yelp users looking for a level up in their royalty status. Maybe you can direct some of that competition to your business. Or figure out a unique campaing or event that works with your business.
Another great something we’ve discovered in our research is that when a Yelper checks into a location, they are asked several questions that are unique to that business in order to provide readers more detailed information about it. A Yelper checking in may be asked if the atmosphere is intimate, if the place is a dive, if it’s good for kids and so on. It also keeps up with and even forges new trends. For example, it may ask a Yelper if the location has a gender-neutral bathroom or if it’s a PokeStop (per the Pokemon craze that caught the country for about three weeks).
One Yelper we talked to first used the platform when reviewing a barber in his city after his first haircut. It was an awful experience, which he talked about in his review. Shortly thereafter, the owner of the barbershop responded to his Yelp review, apologizing for the crummy experience and offering him four free haircuts. The yelper said that it was “overkill,” but it worked. He went back to the barber, had a great experience, and years later continues to regularly go back for haircuts.
Yelp is more than just a review site. It’s a vast network of consumers talking, exploring, experiencing, and competing for royalty in their area. It’s free for businesses to use and the majority of consumers know about it. Unfortunately though, Yelp does garner more negative reviews than any other review platform. That may not be so bad though, because as we’ve talked about in the past, receiving negative reviews means a business will have something to work with—no one is perfect. Ultimately, Yelp is a tool that your business can utilize to communicate with your customer base and add to what people are saying about your business.