What kind of a business turns down ½ a billion dollars?
For local business owners who think that social networking is a fad and that sites like Facebook and Yelp are childish nonsense that have nothing to do with their business, this is your wake up call. Last week Facebook beat Google as the number 1 most visited website and back in December Yelp turned down a Google buyout of $500 million (and apparently later rejected another offer of $750M from a different party.)
The success of these sites is the clearest indicator yet that if you are not actively working the online space – you losing out. Yes we know there are only so many hours in the day and yes we know some of you can barely type, but to be in business in 2010 means you need these skills.
A while back we did a simple walk through on how to add your business to Google Local Business and we thought it might be fun to do the same for Yelp. Of course you can have us do this for you, we’ll work with you to get the right language, imagery, etc, etc – but if you’ve got the time – it’s pretty easy – here you go:
So first off - get yourself to the Yelp Business Home Page - you'll find it right here - https://biz.yelp.com/ - and it looks like this. Watch the video if you have time or go ahead and click "Get A Business owner Account"
Here's where you type in the name of your business and the city - if you're well established it is likely that someone has already entered your business into Yelp - at that point you can "Claim" your business - but that's a tutorial for another time (it's pretty much the same as this though!) Anyway - go ahead and see if you're already in there
If Yelp can't find you they'll suggest a few options - I kinda like the idea of tilted chaos - still - if nothing recognizeable appears - then click on the "Having trouble finding your business?" link
..and you'll arrive on this nice entry form - enter your details using your business email address
And voila - you arrive here and your Business page is almost ready to be published, but Yelp needs to confirm your email addresss but this part of the process is pretty quick so by the time you go to your inbox you ashould already have...
This email - click the link and you arrive back at Yelp and your page has been created. But what next?
If you read the above email again you'll see that the Yelp customer support team has to review your submission before you can claim your page and start editing it. So - you have to wait.
If you're lucky the following email will arrive within 30 minutes - but it can take longer - the last two we set up took 5 minutes.
So - having clicked on the link - you arrive here. In order to edit your Yelp Business page - you need a Yelp Business Account (it's free) and takes less than a minute to set up.
It's quite simple - you fill in the following form using your business email address and once again Yelp will send you a confirmation email which will take you to..
Ta Da! - You've created the page and now you have access to it. So it's time to get busy adding your information
Next comes a series of 6 screens where you get to enter information about your business, your logo, descriptions of what you do and how you do it as well as some info about you - the person behind the business. Seeing as business is all about time it seems fitting that the first screen is about your opening hours....
Right - we'd love it so that business hours are only 9 to 5 - hell - if you can get away with it - good luck to you. The strange thing about this page is that even though you will enter them here - for some reason the system doesn't take it and you will need to enter them again at the end of the process - so - don't worry too much about getting them in here - move on...
This is our favorite part of the whole Yelp business page - you can put an offer right in front of your reviewers - how cool is that. If you can - make it special to just your Yelp customers - i.e. - if you're reading this on Yelp and you come in and say the magic codeword (which today is Bananas) you'll get 20% of your check - try it out - you'd be amazed at the loyalty this kind of tool creates.
This is your elevator speech - you know - the one where you have a couple of sentences to say really succintly what it is you do and how you do it. Don't be over the top - you are writing for one person only - the person reading this page - you may be the best but really - there's so much over exaggerated crap that nobody is believable anymore - write the basics and let your customers and reviewers say that you're the best - capiche?
You need a Square image - any size will do - but it has to be square. Load up as many as you like - maybe a few shots of happy smiley customers or you handing a big check to charity - that kind of thing.
Does the President use your services? This is where you choose to share that (or not!) make it relevant and avoid the hyperbole - write as if you were speaking to someone face to face - and for god's sake be honest!
Here's where you get to upload your smiling face - and yes - we strongly recommend that you have a picture of yourself. Icons and branding are great for business identity but this bit is about you and you have to appear human (even if you're really an evil cyborg.) Whatever your personality is - make sure it comes across in the text - if you're not a big talker - leave it very business focused - what skills have you learned along the way that will influence a reader to use your services - if you're a crazy gregarious person - let it rip - share as much of yourself as you are comfortable with.
You will finally arrive on the following page. Annoyingly enough it isn't quite 100% complete - for some reason you have to go back and add your hours again. Not quite sure why it doesn't take it earlier - but there you go!
So - having added your hours - you can finally go and check out your new Yelp Business owner's Page:
Not exactly rocket science but it helps if you have all your information ready and in one place. And of course, if you're thinking strategically - you will be using the same information and visual branding across all of your social media sites.
having set up your Yelp page you now need to make an active effort to check it regularly and to respond to customers - again - more on that another time.