While most of the talk on social media focuses on the big players such as Facebook and Twitter, services like Yelp can be a huge benefit for certain kinds of businesses. We recently took a family vacation to Michigan and found ourselves using Yelp quite often. I’ll give you three examples where we’ve used it in the past few weeks:
Before we left, we needed new tires for our Explorer. Instead of just going to Goodyear, we decided to look for a locally-owned shop instead. We found one (Yogi’s Tire Shop), it had a great review, so we gave it a shot. Yogi was great, and did a fine job for a fair price.
While I was there, he asked me how I found him. When I told him “Yelp”, he said “What the heck is a Yelp?“. He was fortunate to look good on there, because he had no clue how this side of things work. In his case though, like many others, providing awesome service is by far the best thing you can do to improve how you look on social media.
Up in Mackinaw City and on Mackinac Island we had no idea where to eat. So, we Yelped every time we wanted to go out and it worked great. We found Darrow’s Family Restaurant and ate there twice. When we took a day trip to Sault Ste. Marie, we Yelped upon Karl’s Cuisine — good food and amazing desserts.
One evening we found a pizza place with solid reviews that was six blocks away, so we started walking there. On the way, we passed a cute little restaurant and considered going there instead. We literally stood on the sidewalk in front of their building, took out our phones to check them out on Yelp, then quickly decided to keep walking toward the pizza place. I would guess this restaurant loses at least a few customers per week due to their reviews on Yelp, and probably have no idea why.
Yesterday, after we picked the girls up from their dance camp we decided to grab Panera for lunch. The parking lot was packed so we had to park a good distance away, and ended up right in front of the American Deli. We had never really thought about going there, but standing right in front of it we looked it up on our phones. They only had one review, but it was glowing so we decided it was worth a try. Excellent food.
Yelp isn’t for all
While Yelp is great for restaurants, hotels, and other local businesses, it isn’t for everyone. For example, if you own an insurance company I doubt I’ll find you via Yelp. It’s certainly very important to keep an eye on your online reviews in those cases, but it’s absolutely essential if you’re a business like the ones mentioned above.
Have you ever used Yelp to decide where you were going to eat a meal?