Chapter 48

Leverage Yelp for Business

Do you have reviews on Yelp?

If you own a restaurant, the odds are good that you do. And certainly, if you live in a major metropolitan area like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, or San Francisco, the odds are even higher. But for many businesses, the answer is no. It's time to change that. For those who don't know, Yelp is a review site that allows people to document their experiences with local businesses using a five-star scale and an area for written comments. It has become extremely popular in parts of the country, to the extent that a business's success or failure can be directly affected by its ratings on Yelp.

Yelp caters to local businesses. Restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, dry cleaners, dentists, massage therapists, chiropractors, hotels, gyms, and retail stores are all reviewed on Yelp. Yelp is also chasing the hot new “check-in” trend, following the success of the Foursquare mobile application. Foursquare allows people to “check-in,” using their mobile phones, at local businesses, documenting their patronage in the process. The application is quite playful, allowing users to win “badges” and even become the “mayor” of particular businesses they frequent. Hoping to get in on the fun—and the growing popularity of the trend—Yelp has introduced check-in as well. In fact, Facebook recently introduced Facebook Places (Chapter 74) that has check-in functionality too and even Google has suggested they might join the party down the road. ...

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