Seattle Social Media


The five most important Seattle social media sites for most businesses right now are:

1) Facebook

2) Twitter

3) LinkedIn

4) Yelp

5) Pinterest

I'm getting a lot of questions recently about Yelp so I thought I'd explain how Yelp works and what you can do to protect/manage your online reputation. Yelp is increasing in popularity and is rising in search rankings. A lot of business owners are seeing a disturbing trend of unhappy clients leaving scathing reviews on Yelp.

Yelp is a little different than many of the other social media online directories in two ways:

 

1) It's gaining traction in the online world while many of the other directories such as YellowPages.com are fading away, and

 

2) Yelp prides itself on having "Real Reviews" and use a sophisticated algorithm to filter out reviews they believe are not real.

 

Yelp uses some combination of the following to filter out reviews:

  • A positive review received right after a negative review.
    Reviews from "1/0's". These are Yelpers who have left 1 review and have no other Yelp friends.
    Newly registered accounts.
    Reviews left from Yelpers whose profiles are not complete including a picture.
    Reviews left from Yelpers in different geographic areas.
    Reviews that are left for a business at a higher "velocity" than that business typically receives.
    Yelpers who are consistently either are too positive or too negative on their reviews.
    Review/user accounts from the same IP address.


There are really only two methods to deal with negative Yelp reviews: Flag the review with Yelp as being inappropriate (not likely to work unless there is profanity in the review) or dilute/move the review down with other positive reviews.

 

In order to be able to dilute/move bad reviews down, you need to have a well developed Yelp account that will rank well with credibility. It also obviously helps to have friends who can be counted on to leave friendly reviews when needed; those friends need to have well established Yelp accounts in order to be effective.

So what does this mean? This means you should be developing your own Yelp accounts (and other social media accounts )starting immediately so that they have longevity and standing within Yelp's eyes. Complete your profile, leave reviews for other businesses periodically, friend other Yelpers. Be open to helping other business owners who might need a friendly review.

DO NOT EVER RESPOND ON YELP TO A NEGATIVE REVIEW. You run the risk of provoking the disgruntled customer to use their friends to mount a large scale negative review campaign against you.

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