We all know that word of mouth is a powerful thing and in today’s social media savvy world, businesses are relying on it more heavily to generate new business. Local search is fast becoming a game changer for local business and with online consumer reviews becoming more popular, it’s not surprising that Yelp decided to launch in Australia last year.
Yelp makes it easier for locals to find great businesses and services in their area, based on the opinions of others. It helps take the guess work out of deciding where to go. Some people think Yelp is mainly for restaurants, but it’s not, there are more than 20 categories. Users can rate any local business in Australia out of 5 stars, give personal feedback and they can also indicate if they find other reviews useful, funny or cool. A website like Yelp, is not only great for tourists or people new to an area, it can also be useful for locals trying to find somewhere different to go.
There is some talk about how much do people really trust online reviews, particularly with users creating fake profiles. However, according to A Nielsen Report, Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages that was released in April 2012 “Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising” what is even more interesting is that “online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information and messaging, with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust messages on this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years”.
We all know how increasingly important but also challenging it can be for businesses to effectively manage their online presence. You might say ‘I already have a Facebook and Twitter account, I don’t have time for more!’. Well, it is your right to choose to ignore platforms like Yelp, however, with Yelp any business can be reviewed, whether you decide to get involved or not. So why not make this a positive and leverage another opportunity to listen, manage and engage with your customers. There’s also an entire ecosystem of applications that rely on local data providers like Yelp, so this is yet another important reason to get on board.
It is only natural to fear negative reviews, but in most cases it’s the proportion of positive versus negative reviews that really counts. Yelp has actually found that people use it mainly to share their positive experiences, with 80% of reviews being 3-5 stars (Quarter 2, 2012).
Ready to get started?
- Visit https://biz.yelp.com.au/
- Select ‘Create your free account now’
- Search to see if your business is already listed on Yelp to claim your listing. If it is not, you can create a new page.
- Create your business account
- Verify your identity (Yelp will use the phone number and email you provide to confirm how you are affiliated with the business)
Once you complete your business profile, you can start talking with your customers by replying to reviews they have made about your business. You can also check out the business trends data to check out the performance of your business page. Another useful feature you can leverage is the check-in offers. When customers are in the area, they can use the mobile app to see what businesses have special offers available that they can use immediately or save for later. It’s a great way to encourage people to trial your business.
Here are some other useful tips you might want to consider when setting up your Yelp profile:
- Use photos. We’re visual beings so use this to your advantage and upload some photos of your business to help people get a real feel for it.
- Be diplomatic in your replies. Whether it’s a private or public reply to some feedback, don’t risk a PR nightmare. Even if you are upset, be diplomatic in your reply. Remember that good old saying, the customer is always right.
- Don’t solicit reviews. Yelp has a filter that can weed out suspicious reviews so don’t waste your time!
For more information on setting up your Yelp profile, visit: https://biz.yelp.com.au/support
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