Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of Yelp connection requests, primarily from business owners new to Yelp. Some Sacramento Social Media Consultant is recommending Yelp as a great site for business people, but neglecting to tell their clients about the danger zones.
Yelp is an affinity site, not a networking site. If I love a particular restaurant, and you love that same restaurant, we have a natural affinity and the basis of a social media friendship. If you hate a particular restaurant, and I hate the same restaurant, the old expression “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” comes in to play. But if you complain about a restaurant that I like or praise a restaurant that I dislike, I won’t change my mind about the restaurant, I will judge you harshly. As a business owner, this is something you should avoid. Do you really want to risk a potential disconnect with a prospect because you have a difference of opinion over sushi, pizza or bacon? (I know, who doesn’t love bacon?) You’ll never know which of your best prospects has strong opinions about the business you’re about to review.
Your other danger zone is finding the right level of participation. Active Yelpers create new reviews every week. If you only have a handful of reviews, you are indicated to them that you’re not really a part of their community. If all of your reviews are positive, they dismiss you as a Pollyana. If you review yourself, you stick out as a cheater.
Checking in at business location on Facebook or Foursquare does not have those same pitfalls. Creating a tip is easy — just a few words about something you like. You can easily share with your Facebook and Twitter friends.
If you’d like help creating a social media strategy, or if you want a second opinion on things you’ve been reading or hearing about social media, call Julie Gallaher at 916-265-2521. I’ve been creating websites since 1996, blogging since 2003 and have 20 years experience advising Sacramento small businesses about marketing and advertising.