Tip Tuesday: 5 Best Practices for Business Owners Using Yelp
Yelp is the world’s largest home to online reviews, and its reach is constantly growing. Consumers use Yelp to find local businesses because it is considered the most trustworthy review site. In an increasingly digital age, online review platforms are the new word of mouth. Studies indicate that Yelp reviews can be just as influential as a friend’s referral, which means how you manage your Yelp presence can make or break your company’s credibility.
Here are five tips on how to properly manage your business’s Yelp page:
1. Take Ownership of Your Yelp Business Page. It’s critical to “claim” your company’s page on Yelp. To begin the process, search for your company and click the “claim your business” button to create a business user account. Of course, verification is needed. Using the number provided on your business user account, Yelp will contact you and ask that you enter a verification code.
2. Update Yelp Page Content. Once you’ve claimed your account, it’s essential to update the page with accurate information and recent photos to make a positive impression on Yelpers viewing your business. It’s also important to continuously update your page’s content in the case of: changed office hours, changed location, or closed location.
3. Monitor Yelp Daily. Designate a “Yelp Manager” at your business’s location who will manage the Yelp account. The Yelp Manager should check the page daily for both positive and negative reviews. While monitoring the Yelp page, be sure to sort the reviews by “newest to oldest”, as newly posted reviews are not always visible immediately. The Yelp Manager should also respond to reviews within twenty-four hours.
4. Manage Negative Reviews. Your Yelp page could potentially attract hundreds of eyes daily. It is important to respond to negative reviews quickly to avoid bad impressions of your business. That being said, each specific situation requires a different response, which should be handled with careful consideration. The vast majority of Yelp users are not posting reviews, instead they are reading content to make an informed consumer decision. Because most Yelp users are simply observers, your business’s professional response to a negative review has the power to influence how people perceive your company. Therefore when responding, your main objective should be to remain professional and genuine, instead of defensive.
5. Know When to Respond to Positive Reviews. You should only respond to positive reviews if your reply will add significant value for the reviewer or other Yelp users. For example, if a reviewer mentions he or she plans to refer a friend, you might encourage them to take advantage of your excellent referral program in your reply. In this way, you are providing the reviewer with additional details about your business that could directly benefit them.
By following these steps, you will be able to effectively manage your Yelp business page and begin boosting your company’s credibility.