Category: Reputation Management

Okay – I know, it’s frustrating when Yelp filters your good reviews. But trust me, as the Client Services Manager at a Tampa Marketing Company, I’ve spent some time researching this and it’s probably never going to change. Yelp is proud of their online review filtering system. So, after you’re done cursing the trolls at Yelp for that dang filter, the next logical step is to understand how their filtering system works. Here are five reasons why your reviews might be getting filtered and tips to avoid it!

1. Yelp knows where you are! If Yelp reviews are coming in from the same IP address or location as the business, their filtering system screams “IMPOSTER!” and the review gets thrown in the filter bin.

Tip: If part of your online reputation management strategy is to proactively ask customers who have had a great experience to leave a review for you on Yelp, you may want to add “when you get home.” If they use your internet or leave a review on their laptop at your location, it’s going to get filtered!

2. Has that Yelper ever Yelped before? Not saying that Yelp doesn’t encourage new members, but if the new Yelper doesn’t have any credibility associated with his/her account – the chances of getting filtered are higher!

Tip: Before you ask for a Yelp review, ask if they like to use Yelp. If they say no, don’t ask for a review. Filter your customers before Yelp’s filter can!

3. Does the Yelper have a profile image? Yelp won’t believe your review unless they know there is a real-life person behind the scenes! But I wonder if they have a Catfish filter yet… lol!

Tip: Again, ask if they are a Yelper. If they say yes, they probably have a profile image.

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4. Is the review short? Believe it or not, Yelp will filter a review if it’s too short. I’m guessing it’s because they want quality reviews – not someone saying “I don’t like it” and that’s it.

Tip: Make sure you’ve created a great experience for your customer! Guarantee if you make it memorable, they will have more to say than just “it was cool.”

5. Too positive, too negative. Okay, so the Yelper has yelped before, they have a profile image and their review isn’t too short – what’s the beef? If a certain Yelper’s reviews are always really good or really bad, no in between, they might get filtered. My assumption here is that Yelp WANTS those average reviews because sometimes they are the most truthful and have the most influence.

Tip: Don’t only ask customers for a Yelp review who have already expressed what an amazing experience they’ve had. If a certain business has nothing but amazing reviews, it can make other Yelpers skeptical. I’m not saying encourage negative reviews by any means!!! I’m just saying don’t neglect those customers who haven’t already praised you.

In case you still need more convincing that the filter wasn’t created to make your life miserable ;), I’m attaching a video below that the folks at Yelp created. I’d love to hear any other tips or experiences that you’ve had with the filter!

The thought I’ll leave you with this time is… embrace the filter! Yelp has no plans on changing it, no matter how many angry mobs they have to face. So, complain if you must but don’t ignore it!

Until next time, Ciao!

 

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We’ve all been there. You hear the rumors, you notice the whispers, maybe you’ll even participate in the gossip. But, when it’s about you, how do you respond?

We all want to defend our reputation. We are proud, we care, and we want everyone else to love us too. So, what do you do when this reputation is about your restaurant? When you notice that negative review (that is bound to pop up) on the various review sites that everyone participates in?

After you are done staring at the screen and willing the review to disappear, without success, it’s time to address it. Your handle on your business’s online reputation is key. Here I want to give you some advice for responding to reviews as a restaurant owner:

1. Stay calm and carry on – A common saying and for good reason. Especially as a restaurant, you will receive a bad review on Yelp, UrbanSpoon, etc, and the quicker you realize the inevitability of this, the better off you’ll be. We want everyone to love us, but all five-star reviews for one place is questionable to your audience. After all, nothing and nobody is perfect, right? Having a negative review isn’t the end of your world and in fact, should be viewed as the potential to turn that customer’s experience into a positive one on their next visit (that you should invite them to, see below), or learn from what the guest has to say.

2. Respond in a timely manner – The sooner that you acknowledge and respond to a review, the greater chance you have of making an impact on that reviewer. Besides the impact you make on the one who wrote the review, you’ll also show others who visit the review site that you are an owner who cares about reading the reviews and trying to make things right, if applicable.

3. Always give thanks – Whether positive or negative, it’s important to show your guests the value you place on their feedback.

4. Be personal – It’s easy to reply to all reviews by copying and pasting a standard response, but why not up the ante a little bit? Guests want to feel like whatever they say is appreciated and heard. If it is, you should show it. A simple, “I’m glad you enjoyed your burger!” will suffice and show that you actually read the individual’s review and want to start that interaction.

5. Make it right – Inviting in a guest who left a negative review for a meal on the house is a great chance to not only show your dedication to your customers’ experiences, but to gain a fan for life. More often than not, those guests who leave a negative review will be more than happy to try your restaurant out again and give you another, fair chance…and then write a positive review about the great time you are sure to show them! If the chance to make it right is not granted by the reviewer, respect their decision.

Here at Exakt Marketing, we are committed to assisting our clients with understanding the importance of reputation management and it’s a successful part of our marketing services.

Have you been managing your online reputation? What has been the result?

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