Yelp is a mobile social media application that connects people with local businesses. Yelp was founded in 2004. The app is used to help people find businesses like hair stylists, restaurants, and mechanics located in their immediate area. You can access Yelp via mobile devices like iPhones, Tablets, BlackBerry, and more.
Yelp had approximately 66 million monthly unique visitors by the end of last year, 2011.
Local businesses set up Yelp Business accounts on line. This free account allows you to post photos and send messages to customers. Also, Yelp makes money by selling ads to local businesses.
Visitors, called Yelpers, are encouraged to write and post reviews about the businesses and their services or products. Yelpers have written over 25 million local reviews. In addition to reading reviews, Yelp can help you find events, lists and to talk with other Yelpers.
Another mobile app, called Foursquare, also connects people to businesses.
Foursquare combines a city-guide with a friend finder and turns it into a competitive game. It allows visitors with a cell phone to “check in” at local businesses and send that announcement by way of social network sites such as Twitter.
Tip #1: Yelp and Foursquare can be powerful marketing tools for business, especially serving your local clientele. At the very least, set up an account and get your business identity out there. If you are in the hospitality business (restaurant owner), you’ll want to get to know Yelp really well!
Tip #2: Use Yelp to announce special promotions and offers.
Tip #3: Advertise! Sign up with Foursquare and Yelp to take advantage of advertising opportunities. Draw people to your company that live and work in your vicinity.
Tip #4: Yelp permits you to include your website URL for your business. You can also upload photos to your profile, making your business look more professional and trustworthy.
Tip #5: Ask your customers and clients to write reviews about your business.
Tip #6: Be sure to optimize your website for local searches!