Whether you’re running a business, sharing your passion or just simply looking for an expert opinion, there’s no shortage of resources to help get you where you need to Yelp! Since 2004, Yelp has been a great tool for both patrons and businesses. We’ll teach you the most effective ways to utilize the platform to benefit your business’ objectives.

1) Use as a Social Media Platform

Yelp is a location-based social media platform. With 162 million monthly users, the platform is a vibrant community full of people who are passionate and motivated about sharing their thoughts and opinions. This allows other users to make decisions based upon what their online peers are sharing, along with the capability to directly engage with restaurants. Yelp Collections, is one example of this social media behavior. With Collections, users can build a list of recommendations that others can follow.

By connecting users from the same area together, this can make reviews much more powerful than that of traditional media.

2) Invite Yelp Elite Users

Are you trying to get new reviews, or improve your overall rating on Yelp? One method to try is inviting Yelp Elite members to your restaurant or establishment. By doing this, along with giving them a great experience, increases your chances of getting a positive review and having their followers possibly take an interest.

3) Utilize Ads

With people looking for recommendations on Yelp from everything to dog-sitting to rock climbing, ads are a great way to spread the word about your business. With your customers being greatest ambassadors to your brand or business, Yelp offers special features for profiles which allow you to remove competitor ads from your profile, along with selecting specific customer photos to use on your profile.

4) Yelp Reservations

If you’re a restaurant who would like to tidy up your reservation system, Yelp offers widgets unique to your establishment that will link from your landing page directly to your account. They also have widgets that can even connect to your Instagram and Facebook accounts. This feature allows your customers to make a quick reservation that can be seen by those working at the restaurant.

If your restaurant delivers, Yelp also offers a delivery system that is integrated with GrubHub. By selecting the ‘Delivery’ Icon at the top of the page, restaurants who utilize this service will show up in search results.

5) Add Your Own Photos

This should go without saying...but add your own photos to give the customer an eye-catching glimpse of what’s to come. Doing so allows you to tailor your brand image by allowing synergy between your photos and the style or atmosphere of the restaurant.

With these steps in mind, go ahead and claim your business’ Yelp account. With word-of-mouth becoming ever-prevalent in a world with endless options, finding ways to stand out and give your customers a great experience is an ideal way to flourish. Make your move and see those ratings, reservations, and profits increase!