Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Yelp!

Aside from Google, one of the most important websites for small businesses (and their social media agency or department) is the crowdsourced review site Yelp!. If you’ve eaten out lately, you’ve probably seen the little red “People Love Us On Yelp!” sticker on the door. I know I personally use it quite a bit when trying to find new places to eat, and I review places on it quite frequently, so I thought I’d share some fun facts about Yelp!, because we’re all kind of tired of election news, right?

1. Yelp! is unique in that most of its site traffic is generated on its desktop site and not the mobile site! You wouldn’t think this would be the case in 2012, but 60% of searches are from regular computers, and the company’s mobile apps are used by about 7 million people. Yelp.com gets 78 million visitors per month. However, like other social media agencies, mobile is starting to gain some serious footing.

2. Every star on a review means about a 5-9% jump in revenue. Yelp uses a rating system like movie critics do – using stars. Every “star” a place gains on it’s Yelp rating means a revenue jump, according to a study by Havard professor Michael Luca, who found a correlation between high revenues and high Yelp! ratings.

3. Most places that get reviewed aren’t restaurants. I was especially surprised by this, considering restaurants are primarily what I have used Yelp for, but in 2011, shopping venues reached “parity” with restaurants. The “restaurant review site” perception still exists, though, as restaurants do have the natural advantage because they see far more customers than, say, your doctor’s office would.

The social media agency can definitely take advantage of Yelp!, as it offers the user a direct chance to voice their opinion in a public forum. This gives you feedback in very nearly real time to see if a campaign is doing what it should and engaging an audience. Just don’t encourage people to review – artificially boosting your Yelp! rating does more damage in the long run.

2 thoughts on “Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Yelp!

  1. To Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of yelp:

    Have you heard the story of the three men in the lifeboat? They note particular areas in the boat that “belong” to each as they make their way on their journey, each hoping for land and safety.

    Each personalizes their area as best they can with seaweed, driftwood, and such using tools in a little kit in the lifeboat.

    One day, one of the men begins drilling in the floor of the boat. The other two, obviously alarmed, ask him what in the world he thinks he’s doing. He replies that it’s his section of the boat and he’s making his own modification. Of course, the other two point out that if he drills a hole in his section, the entire boat will sink!

    How often have you found yourself in that situation, where somebody else’s actions put you at risk?

    Obviously, if it’s something as clear cut as a hole in the bottom of a boat, we’d probably all speak up, but what about when somebody’s callousness, self-centeredness, or just plain obliviousness causes harm that’s not quite so clear.

    Would you have the courage to speak up in that kind of a situation? I bet you would.

    You’re come across as the type of person who does not keep his opinions to himself. I think your intelligence and your strong-willed self-reliance are probably your two most prominent personality traits, and there’s no doubt that you’d address something that could hurt you or a loved one right away.

    Do you ever wonder if you might be the person holding the drill? I know there are plenty of times when I’m focused on something so much that the consequences of my behaviors to other people seem to be lost on me.

    Sometimes, it’s just a refusal to willing relinquish any rights of my own at all. It can be as simple as me not enjoying a meal as much as I should and complaining to management. I have no idea if I’ll be causing someone to lose his job, but I think it’s easy for us to put ourselves ahead of everyone else.

    What do you do when you catch yourself being the person with the drill? Do you respond by putting it down or do you insist on your rights and flood the boat?

    I think how we respond when we know we’re wrong probably says more about us than how we respond when somebody else is wrong.

    I realize that I’m rambling a bit, and I hope you’ll forgive the way I’m going all over the place. But the implications of acting on what we believe to be our rights, while simultaneously hurting other people just kind of hit me when I thought about the story.

    I think it’s good food for thought for anyone, though, and I hope that the story has a good and life-affirming impact on you as well.

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