You’ve heard of Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, where you can post information about your business and people can respond. Perfect! But, there are more opportunities out there; a whole lot more.
How about the growing number of services where people rate and talk about their favorite “local” businesses, become recognized for the number of times they visit a business, and even receive special offers or notices of upcoming events?
Once you have a Yelp business page, it's like having a current online yellow page platform for people looking for local businesses and happenings.
I love it Yelp and use it via my iPhone all the time. I can head to a movie and do a Yelp search to find a health food store in that area, discover their hours, get their directions, pick up some snacks and head off to the movies! Love this techie world and so do a ton of others. Matter of fact, 32 million people visited Yelp in May 2010...now that’s a growing tool.
THE TIP: Getting Started with Yelp
STEP ONE: Go to Yelp.com and search for your type of business within your area. Someone may have already posted a review about you. If so, go to yelp.com/business and unlock your Business Page. Everything you need to know is right there. If no one has made a review, all you have to do is create a business page. The instructions are pretty simple; I created my page including pictures in about a half an hour.
STEP TWO: Send an announcement to your online customers via e-mail or your current social networks and ask if they’ve seen your Yelp page and if they would share their thoughts about your store and services (maybe even add a picture or two). I posted a savings to my customers that wrote a review. Be creative. You want reviews to help build your site…then the magic begins. The awareness of your business and influence grows through the ever-expanding word-of-mouth online experience! Be brave…go for it!
Debby Swoboda, president of Debby Swoboda Marketing Solutions, has over 22 years experience in the Natural Products Industry developing and executing effective marketing and merchandising programs for independent retailers. Debby enjoys teaching retailers how to utilize partnerships and seize opportunities to maximize sales and profits. Her passionate support of independents led her to create “askDebby.com,” a destination resource providing education programs, free down-loadable shelf talkers and templates, label branding program, and a host of other items designed to support retailers.
Debby is noted as an "expert contributor" to industry publications, writes a featured Marketing Tips article and presents "live" TeleTrainings (webinars) as part of Tree of Life's Knowledge Center, is a guest "blogger" for The Natural Foods Merchandiser, and is a national presenter at national and regional shows. Debby is an active board member of the Southeast Natural Products Association and serves many clients including retailers, distributors, manufacturers offering proven business solutions.