Yelp and Foursquare: Should You Be Using Them?
Social media has plenty of opportunities for businesses. However, business owners have little information on how they can make social media work for their ventures. What are Yelp and Foursquare all about and what can you expect?
These social media platforms are, basically, online local directories, social networks, information services and customer reviews repositories. The platforms offer businesses online listings that people can search based on customer ratings, keywords or locale. Why is this important to your business?
People are increasingly depending on these services to find products, services or just see what is available around them. In addition, the more reviews you get from services like Yelp, the more noise you generate in other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. It is these social media experiences that carry the weight when it comes to the decision-making process of your prospective customers.
To help you understand why your business needs a listing on these reviews, social-media sites, here is a list of five things that will help improve your customer’s experience.
You Become a Part of the Community
You are not only in business; you are also part of your surrounding community. Learn how the service works by reviewing some of the local businesses you use frequently, and even recommend some (not necessarily your competitors). Make meaningful business connections that will one day transform to a transaction. Use the platforms to network and build a real world and digital community around your business.
Promote News and Offers
Use Foursquare and Yelp to promote what you do best and encourage prospective clients to stop by your store for incentives and specials. For example, you can highlight a specific offer for a certain community. The platforms also give you easy-to-use dashboards where you can update your business information, as well as introduce promotions and offers. Offer these incentives regularly and your connected customers will reward you with repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations to friends and family.
Silence Critics with Kindness
One of the things business owners fear about social media platforms is a negative review. Instead of flaming your critics by challenging their views or, worse, threatening to sue, silence them with kindness. Demonstrate that you are listening and acknowledge their concerns by doing something about it; ask for another chance to improve their experience.
Get a Piece of the Mobile Experience
Today, there is an app for just about everything and each review site has a mobile version for tablets and smartphones. Yelp and Foursquare, for example, offer users the ability to check-in to businesses. On checking in, an alert is immediately sent to the user’s connections, letting them know where they are. You, as the business owner, also get to know when a customer is in your building. Take advantage of this feature and create a check-in offer that will encourage people to visit your business more often. The more check-ins you receive, the more promotion for you.
Badges of Honour
Foursquare and Yelp offer businesses decals that you can place at your location for repeat and walk-in customers to see. Show them off proudly. Do not forget about the digital versions of the badges offered by each service. You can use the decals on your website too.
While some businesses wish Yelp, Foursquare and other review sites would wither away, your current and prospective customers find great value in them. In fact, visits to such sites are only increasing without any sign of slowing down. Instead, do not fear the sites, embrace them and encourage your customers to use them as well.