Are you a restaurant, retailer, hotel or a consumer wondering who exactly Yelp is helping? When you run a business, there are plenty of things you should be concerned about. It starts with your product and service, from there the list just grows. Obviously one of those concerns is what people are saying about your restaurant brand. I am a huge advocate for social media and digital as a whole for restaurants since this offers a great vehicle to keep tabs on what customers are saying. I am amazed at how many restaurants are still hesitant to get into the game, it is such an amazing medium to create relationships and to interact with your customers. I certainly think the positives outweigh the negatives, however I would not be doing my job if I did not point out some concerns that have been on-going with Yelp in particular.
As you can see if you are a restaurant, you need to be aware of reviews on Yelp.
I am sure most if not all of you have heard of Yelp. Yelp is simply a site that segments reviews by location for everything from restaurants to dentists, to mechanics and so on. 10 things you should know about Yelp (straight from their site). Yelp has been under fire recently due to the questionable practices surrounding the validity of reviews.
Jason Falls, founder of Social Media Explorer recently wrote THE FUNDAMENTAL FLAW OF YELP’S SOLICITED REVIEW STANCE. Questioning: Is Yelp encouraging more negative reviews with their stance on solicited ones?
Another debate has to do with who should be protected. Are you the restaurant who wants honest and fair reviews? Or are you the Yelper who values the right to share individual opinions? I use the term debate because the conversation that are taking place can get very heated. For example you can read this exchange that took place on Yelp, regarding a review.