In case you don’t know that Yelp is making inroads in the Bluff City - or in case you don’t even know about the online review site at all - then native Memphian Joelle Pittman has three words for you: Check it out.
Pittman, who recently joined the Yelp as the local representative for the site that connects customers with local businesses, is on a mission to spread the word that Yelp is gaining traction in Memphis.
That’s good news for customers who can read honest assessments about a variety of establishments – restaurants, bars, dry cleaners, retailers. And it’s good news for businesses, particularly small Mom & Pop stores, that excel in customer service, but may not have lots of extra money to spend on advertising campaigns to attract new customers.
With Yelp, customer service is key and if you’re a business owner and your patrons rave about you, it would do well to claim your entry on the site.
Pittman discussed how to do that and offered lots of interesting factoids about Yelp ( 80 percent of its reviews are 3-stars or higher; 21 percent of reviews are of restaurants; 23 percent of reviews are of shopping sites; 64 percent of reviewers earn $100K or more each year) during the monthly Interactive Expedition meeting today.
As I’ve mentioned in this blog in the past, the regular Interactive Expedition gatherings offer some of the most valuable meet-and-greet venues in the area. If you’re interested in technology – and if you’re involved in business in any way whatsoever, you NEED to be – then you should make a point to attend.
Case in point: Pittman’s presentation, which highlighted some of Yelp’s features. Founded in 2004, the online community boasts 33 million reviews (it’s biggest in tech-savvy cities like San Francisco and Austin, Texas) and draws 84 million unique visitors each month. That means a lot of eyes are looking at reviews of local establishments and those reviews are often influencing how consumers spend their discretionary dollars.
How can that affect you?
Pittman offered one story, a personal experience, of something that happened before she started working for Yelp.
Already a reviewer for the site, she decided to post some positive remarks about her dry cleaner. Her honest appraisal of the small business led to a boost in new customers for the company and that experience led her to jump at the chance to work for Yelp when she discovered there was an opening for a Memphis representative.
Now she spends her time promoting the site and encouraging businesses to actively engage with customers through Yelp. She’s also setting up regular Yelp gatherings – a weekly trivia night kicks off next month, as will a Sunday brunch group – and is looking for suggestions. Feel free to contact her to offer yours.
To find out more about the site, visit www.yelp.com
And to connect with Pittman, check her out on Twitter: @MemphisYelp
Or, if you’d rather send an email, she’ll be glad to get those, too. Her address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now let’s get those reviews started!