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Yelp! Isn’t Enough: Small Business and Restaurants Need Social

I’m a planner, I like to have an idea of what I’m getting myself into before jumping into things. Maybe that’s boring or maybe that’s being prepared, whatever it is, one thing is for certain – Yelp! was made for people like me. The site was established in 2004 and remains one of the most trusted sites for reviews of restaurants, bakeries, small business, entertainment, and much more.

While Yelp! dominates as a destination site for reviews, it may not be providing the best social presence for it’s customers. From using Yelp! for over six years, it shocks me that many businesses still don’t have a website or any social media accounts to help connect them with potential clients. And while I’m sure many restaurant owners would have the argument of “at least I’m on Yelp!” I’m here to say Yelp! isn’t enough. In today’s world of social media, businesses could be doing themselves a disservice by not including social media into your marketing efforts. If this statement comes as a surprise, start thinking about what Yelp! offers compared to Facebook and Twitter. And then consider what Facebook and Twitter offer compared to Yelp!

Recently, Yelp! and Facebook have integrated a number of similar functions however it’s important to remember that people trust their friend’s opinions the most. People tend to have more friends on Facebook (359 average Facebook friends per person) and they are typically people they know and interact with on a normal basis. And Twitter acts as an ongoing conversation to connect with just about anyone.

Here we discuss five reasons why social media should accompany any Yelp! account:

1. Frequent Updates from you!

Social media encourages the sharing of creative, new content which is great for small businesses trying to establish their online presence. Posts can range from promotions, upcoming events or sales, additional menu items, questions to your community or even behind the scenes news and stories about your business!

2. Photo albums and photo posts

Facebook and Twitter are great outlets to share photos and images. Since images perform so well on these platforms Yelp! users should use this to their benefit. Showcase a new product, renovations to an office, or a delicious menu option. Social media users love to interact with posts that are visually simulating and unique and with the access to cameras there’s no excuse not to share!

3. Facebook Check-Ins

Yelp! has a similar check-in function that can be shared to Facebook but if the person chooses not to share to Facebook you’ve missed a huge opportunity. Considering the average number of Facebook friends a person has is 359, the potential reach of a Facebook check-in is far greater than one of Yelp!

4. Join Conversation

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be very fun space to experiment with when growing your presence and promoting your company. Something to also remember is that most small businesses are in the same position as you. Follow businesses you support, engage with them on social and there’s a possibility they’ll do the same for you. Being successful on social media always comes back to being social, so join the conversation and get engaged.

5. Facebook Wall and Twitter Interactions

Just by having a Facebook or Twitter account you’ll open up the doors for your fans, customers, and supporters to connect with you. On Facebook and Twitter they can share photos, reviews, ask questions, and start conversation just be posting to your Wall or mentioning you in a tweet. Use this opportunity to make connections with your clients and gain understanding as to why they keep coming back to you as their preferred vendor or small business.

The benefits of social media don’t stop with these five reasons, once you begin to get involved and try different approaches you are bound to notice some other key benefits for your business. I encourage you to get out there and try it for yourself.

 

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