The phenomenon and randomness of the Yelp user review continues to rattle small businesses, and restaurants in particular. Restaurants account for the largest slice of the Yelp pie (with shopping a distant second and nightlife an even-more-distant third), and estimates are that more than 40% of restaurant patrons review their experiences on Yelp. Clearly, this is a topic that needs to be understood and managed.
Given the strong presence Sintel Systems has in the restaurant POS marketplace, we share this analysis with our customers and franchise hopefuls to help them stay abreast of the ever-changing social media landscape.
Restaurants looking for help with Yelp may benefit from this online slideshow, The Definitive Guide to Yelp for Small Businesses (DGYSB), prepared by FitSmallBusiness.com at SlideShare.net.
Think of it as Yelp 101. Here’s the skinny in brief:
Step 1: Evaluate your Yelp situation
- No listing or a listing with no reviews
- Listing with reviews and a positive rating
- Listing with reviews and a negative rating
Google search your business name to see if your Yelp page shows up and how highly it ranks.
Step 2: Decide on a Plan of Attack
- If your business is listed in Yelp and has a lot of solid 4 and 5 reviews, then you should boost the visibility of your profile on both Yelp and Google.
- If your business is listed in Yelp and has a lot of negative 1 and 2 star reviews, you should reduce the visibility of your Yelp page, until you get a good star rating.
- If your business is not listed, or is listed but doesn’t have any reviews, then the call on getting reviews and boosting your Yelp page’s visibility will depend on two things:
- Whether or not you have happy customers. If you get complaints, then you will not get positive reviews on Yelp. Therefore, don’t boost your Yelp page visibility.
- Whether or not customers look for you on Yelp. If you have happy customers then you will want to find out how often your potential clients use Yelp when searching for businesses like yours.
￼Step 3: Claim and/or Set Up Your Yelp Profile
Claim your Yelp profile at http://biz.yelp.com/claiming; set up your Yelp profile at http://biz.yelp.com/signup/new. Make your profile as complete as possible.
To maximize your page visibility:
- Use the same address information and format as on your website, Facebook and Google+ Page
- Add at least 5 photos to your profile (location, staff, menu items, etc.)
- Fill out your business hours
- List all relevant categories for your business
- Offer a discount on your page
- Give a detailed description of the business and owner, keeping in mind the “keywords” customers use when searching for your business
To minimize your page visibility:
While you are working on improving your business, it’s better to maintain a low profile on Yelp by reducing the amount of information and keywords on your Yelp page.
Step 4: Beat the Yelp Review Filter
Although beneficial, getting help from friends to review your business on Yelp may trigger filtering algorithms to remove such posts, including:
- Someone who has written 1 review
- Someone who has no profile information
- Reviews strongly slanted both positively and negatively
- Short reviews/lack of details
- Reviews from a different location
Consider this list of ways a friend’s profiles may look legitimate:
- All the information required is complete, with an uploaded photo
- Yelp is linked to their Facebook account
- Friends have been added
- A few positive and negative reviews for other businesses are added before reviewing your business
- Using the “Check In” feature on Yelp’s Mobile app
From your own Yelp profile add them as friends, follow them, like their reviews and send them a message in Yelp.
Step 5: Get Yelp Reviews Naturally
- Post a Yelp badge on your website linking to your page on Yelp
- Place your best reviews where your customers are likely to see them
- When someone gives you a compliment ask them to review your business on Yelp
- Ask the people that give you positive reviews in other places to leave a review on Yelp
- Add a “Find Us On Yelp” to your email signature
- Send an email to your subscribers saying that you are on Yelp and other social media websites
- Create a Yelp Deal
- If you have a bar or a restaurant, contact your local Yelp elite community manager and ask them about hosting an event
- Offer your customers Free WiFi and send them to your Yelp page by default when they login
Step 6: Deal With Your Negative Yelp Reviews
All businesses are bound to have an unhappy customer or two, so try to deal with the negative reviews quickly and kindly.
- Don’t fan the flames by arguing
- Respond to customers with legit complaints by apologizing and stating what you are doing so it does no happen again
- Message the person privately, apologizing and offering them something like a meal on the house
- If they seem happy, ask them politely to alter or remove the review
- Don’t respond to negative reviews that have no basis
- Check if the review violates Yelp’s own content guidelines so you can flag the review for removal
Check out the SlideShare.net post here.
Sintel Systems is the only full-service provider of tailored Point of Sale systems across retail, restaurant and service industries, including frozen yogurt shops, pizzerias, sushi restaurants, cafés and retail stores.
As a single source for business solutions, our experienced, knowledgeable team negotiates the complex POS landscape for you to enable you to find the right POS system for your business and budget. Hardware – Software – Support