The roll-out of Apple’s new iPhone 5 and iOS 6 has brought a much-needed refresh to the mobile landscape. As the world’s most popular smartphone, the iPhone is used literally hundreds of millions of times every day for local directions and information. One of the most popular new features of iOS 6 is its Yelp review integration, which presents a golden opportunity for local SMBs. Now that Yelp reviews are a built-in component of Apple Maps, it’s important to take another look at your Yelp strategy.
Flesh Out That Yelp Profile
First and foremost, be sure to claim your Yelp business page if you haven’t already. Next, you’ll need to create and optimize your profile so that it’s targeted at Apple Maps users. Make sure to enter all the pertinent information regarding your company, and double-check your contact details to ensure that they’re accurate. Take advantage of Yelp Deals to offer customers discounts and gift certificates. Lastly, be sure to include a few high-quality photos of your establishment within your profile.
If a customer has a memorable experience with your business, they’ll likely leave a review without any prompting. You can’t have too many reviews, however, so it’s worth your while to encourage customers and clients to share their experience. Prominently display a link back to your Yelp profile on your main homepage with the anchor text “Review Us On Yelp!” or something along those lines. Also, encourage users to leave Yelp reviews with a sign at your physical location or on your business cards.
Interact with Your Reviewers
Thanks to the somewhat anonymous nature of Yelp, you’ll find that customers pull fewer punches when reviewing your business. How you handle honest criticism, whether it’s good or bad, affects the way that potential future customers view your business. Follow the example set by Amazon when addressing complaints and you’ll earn quite a bit of social currency online. When people see you go the extra mile and personally respond to both praise and criticism, they’ll be more likely to patronize your business in the future.
Keeping Up the Momentum
Outside of enriching your profile, encouraging feedback and managing reviews, there’s not much else you can do to attract new customers other than running the best business possible. Still, the fact of the matter is that Apple has sold over 400 million iOS devices thus far, and many of them will now feature Yelp integration in Maps. Investing just a little bit of time and effort into your Yelp profile now can deliver an amazing ROI over the coming year.