In December 2014, Yelp launched a new version of its social media marketing app, Yelp for Business Owners. The mobile app, which is available for download for both iOS and Android devices, is particularly helpful for small and medium-sized businesses who are looking to manage their profile information via a mobile device. Better yet, the new app will allow companies to monitor Yelp feedback and direct messages while on the go.
Read on to learn more about some of the features Yelp is offering business owners in its launch version, as well as additional capabilities that are planned for release in the near future.
But First, Why Is Yelp Important for Small Companies?
Love it or hate it, Yelp has become a leader in crowdsourcing consumer opinions and experiences, as well as educating users on where to go based on their locale. Though Yelp has experienced its fair share of controversy over the way it filters user reviews, business owners who run accounts on the social network reported an average boost of $8,000 in annual revenues from site. For companies that used Yelp’s advertising services, that figure jumped to an average of more than $23,000 in revenues.
Research has even revealed the monetary impact of a Yelp star rating. For example, a Harvard University study showed that each added star on a Yelp restaurant review translated to a 5% to 9% effect on revenues. For small businesses, those few percentage points can make a noticeable—if not significant—impact on a company’s bottom line.
Features and Benefits for Small Business Owners
Given that approximately 138 million people use Yelp each month for finding everything from restaurants, to local tailors, to five-star hotels, business owners are keen to stay on top of what Yelp users are saying about their products and services. And since Nielsen reports that roughly four out of five Yelp users are ready to make a purchase at a business they’ve searched on the site, it’s no surprise the social marketing company has finally created an app enabling small business owners to capitalize on these sales opportunities.
Besides being able to interact with an optimized mobile interface, expect the following from the newest version of Yelp for Business Owners:
- In June 2014, Yelp introduced the ability for users to communicate directly with businesses via its Message the Business feature. By using the business owners’ app, you’ll now be able to receive instant notifications and quickly respond to both private messages and public comments in real time.
- As a Yelp for Business Owners app user, you’ll be able to track user page views and customer leads generated over the last 30 days.
- If you’re a Yelp advertiser, you’ll now have access to reports on the number of ad clicks received from Yelp users.
Ultimately, the Yelp for Business Owners app presents an even greater opportunity for small business owners to directly interact with their brand champions, as well as respond to users who’ve had a less-than-stellar customer experience. And in the fast-paced world of social media marketing, turning negative opportunities into positive outcomes can make all the difference for small brands working to compete against bigger competitors.
Future Upgrades in the Works
Although the mobile business app currently lacks key features, such as the ability to create new offers and promotions, Yelp plans to tack on more capabilities in the near future. In the meantime, users located in the 29 countries where Yelp operates can start using the app to build yet another communication channel to their online community.
If you’re looking for further guidance on the Yelp for Business Owners app, view this video tour for tips on using the app’s main features. You can also catch one of Yelp’s webinars on the new mobile app and other educational tools for business owners. Be sure to check Yelp’s website for the latest webinar schedule and videos.