ACP 054: Corey Dane from Yelp

Hello, Levi here =] Summer 2015, I sat down with Corey Dane at a local cafe to talk about how cafes should use Yelp.com to get more business. As a former coffee stand owner I used it myself and know for a fact that people came in because of the app/site. Yelp.com helped people discover my business who would otherwise not have found me. I’m also someone who uses Yelp several times per month, mostly to find new places to eat (especially when on the road/traveling).

This episode you will learn:

  • Overall strategy you should use when starting a Yelp page
  • How to reward fans
  • Dealing with negative reviews
  • Rewarding your staff for a job well done.
BIO: Corey Dane Corey Dane hails from Chicago and worked as a voice over artist, TV host and arts administrator before joining Yelp in 2010. Since then he’s created and cultivated two robust communities of consumers looking to connect with great local businesses, first in Tucson, AZ and most recently in Madison, WI. In his current role as Manager of Local Business Outreach, Corey travels North America, speaking with business owners about leveraging the power of Yelp to help grow their business.
Show notes by time:
  • Time 3:20
    • Q: What is the first step when starting a Yelp profile?
    • A: First look to see if anyone has started you a page or if you’re already listed as a business. If its brand new how long before you should start a Yelp page. Start all other social media first then leave Yelp as one of the last. Plus you want to leverage that HOT AND NEW Yelp endorsement when you are actually open and people can come and buy things from you right away.
  • Time 4:30
    • Stagger the build out of your business plan, first pick a concept, then find a location, train, get a photo shoot ready, then 1-2 weeks before launch that Yelp.
  • Time 6:00
    • Yelp started as Yocal – like local and yo check this out!
  • Time 7:55
    • Post events at your business on Yelp.com! That would get people to find your new business and get Yelp Elite’s (super users) attention. 70% of browsing on Yelp is done via the app.
  • Time 9:40
    • “Cuppa-Yelp” as an idea for a fun event to get people out. A group of unique cafes offering different helpful stuff like ‘cupping’ or milk ’texturing’ or just a $1 off different and unique items. Its really event-marketing and pulling people in because of the event itself. The firs step to gaining a regular is getting them into your door.
  • Time 11:45
    • How do you get a Yelp users attention? What draws them in? You sell them an experience, more than just food. They will want to come experience that thing at your business and pay you to do it. What gets your interest, what is exciting to you? “You never know what’s going to grab people” so experiment.
  • Time 13:25
    • “How do you speak their language?” Corey response to that question.
  • Time 17:30
    • The big takeaway is figure out exactly your ideal cafe can serve, then people will know what they will get before they GET there. Have pictures of your staff waving at the Yelper, be totally transparent so people aren’t surprised when they visit.
  • Time 19:30
    • Denver cafe, Steam (www.SteamEspressoBar.com) is leveraging reviews from Yelp users on their website. Its like picking a customer of the month, but also like picking a Yelper of the month? Customer AND Yelper of the month? Should you leverage these into ads if you’re going to use them on Facebook? Best to describe your cafe from someone else’s eyes.
  • Time 21:00
    • Incentives for reviews? Well, they can be in-authentic if there is an expectation for a reward. Recognize them when they come in, print out the good reviews and have them at the register with that persons photo so your staff can say thanks to them personally. Leave a nice note for them and toss them a scone or something they wouldn’t consider buying already.
  • Time 24:30
    • Check-in offers for visiting your cafe? Put an Ad of the offer on FB/Twitter of users who aren’t already a fan/following your business. You can even offer a free high-five or thumbs up if you want to be quirky.
  • Time 26:25
    • But you gotta wash them hands…… so how about a hug?
  • Time 27:55
    • POS check-in offers, there is more help at Yelp.com/Brand. When you have a check-in offer it shows up on Yelp with a little star and it really helps stand out in the search engine and captures people’s attention, making them more likely to come in an visit. If you offer something I recommend it not being a beverage, but rather a food item that is unique to your coffeehouse.
  • Time 28:55
    • Add Yelp-burst onto your site to cross promote and get people interested in leaving a review or sharing YOUR site on THEIR social media.
  • Time 29:55
    • Yelp is all about CONNECTING the community. Anytime you use Yelp or a user review remember its a way to connect your customers to other customers who love your brand. don’t be surprised if one Yelper becomes the local celebrity-endorser of your cafe.
  • Time 30:40
    • Newsletters that have themes to users. Make sure you’re getting the business owner newsletter and read the tips there.
  • Time 31:45
    • Events that people talk about may get in the newsletter, get your event up there and it will get noticed, you don’t have to do more than that.
  • Time 32:00
    • Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh negative reviews….. respond to good and bad. Rather than just responding and saying thanks, why don’t you respond and say ‘thanks for coming in next week we are featuring this special event or drink’ if its a good review – but what to do with bad reviews……
  • Time 35:45
    • If you have a staff member who needs guidance, leverage yelp reviews to use them as a starting point to talk to them. It will show that their actions are being noticed by customers (good or bad). Reward staff for good behavior.
  • Time 38:00
    • Photos: “thanks for helping us tell our story” what a great phrase. Make sure you caption the photos, and personally I love when there is a month and year listed. I first upload in Instagram then take that gorgeous photo and pump it onto Yelp after that. Take a look at www.RockfordRoastingCompany.com for inspiration.
  • Time 40:55
    • “People are looking for the best ways to spend their hard earned money”  people in the community trying to lift up other wonderful things in their community.
  • Time 42:50
    • How often should you check your account to stay on top of it? Mostly just keep pace with it all as it comes in. If you are checking your Yelp everyday and notice you’re getting 1 review a week, then why check more often that once a week? Don’t burn yourself out, but you do want to stay in tune.