The exclamation point at the end of the title is just part of the name Yelp! That’s just the company’s style. But it just as well could communicate the importance of being reviewed on this social review site right now.
Having reviews of your business on Yelp! — especially positive reviews — has been a boon for several years, but that’s especially true now. Yelp! shares recently jumped 25 percent after the ratings service reported that its base of local advertisers more than doubled and an increasing number of users took advantage of its mobile sites.
Long story short: Yelp! is super-hot, and it’s imperative that you take advantage of it by learning how to get more Yelp! reviews. There are many ways to go about this, but here are some of the big ones:
Put up a sign: Yes, something as simple and low-tech as hanging a sign in your business reading “Review Us on Yelp!” can go a long way. It’s just like old-school comment card boxes. If you add a QR code to your sign — your Ring Ring Marketing professional can help you with that — your customers can simply scan the code with a smartphone, taking them right to your Yelp! listing.
Offer discounts to Yelp! users: It’s important to clarify here that you never want to “buy” a good review, but offering a discount to Yelp! users obviously increases the likelihood of being reviewed. Yelp! lets you post discounts, coupons, and events for free. If “Yelpers” see a discount, they’re encouraged to stop on in, and active Yelpers write reviews. This is also good because Yelp! treats reviews of your business from active Yelpers (those who review a bunch of places, not just yours) much more favorably than those who only review a couple of places. The latter tend to get caught in Yelp! spam filters.
Post your positive Yelp! reviews at your business: This can be extremely effective. Framing positive reviews (blown up for easy readability) lets other Yelpers know the venue is highly reviewed and worth reviewing, so they’ll take time to review it too. Also, those waiting in line or sitting in the lobby will be impressed by the posted reviews, improving their experience.
Host a Yelp! event: This is simpler than you might expect. You start off by finding prospective guests: Interact with your current Yelpers (those who already reviewed your business) and Yelpers who reviewed a similar business to yours. Contact your local Yelp Elite member to advise that you’re looking to host a Yelp event. Then create a web form with software such as Wufoo to invite Yelpers.
Refer to Yelp! throughout marketing efforts: As noted above, Yelp! is a force to be reckoned with, so it’s worth it to include Yelp! in many of your branding aspects. Whether included in email footers or other marketing materials, remind your clients that if they want to communicate how much they like what you do, Yelp! is the way to do it.