Is Yelp accurate for marketing??
Gone are the days when we need to ask our family, relatives and friends for reviews about products and services. Since the advent of the Internet, it has been convenient for people to check out online reviews at their fingertips. Though word-of-mouth or buzz marketing can be a cost-efficient and effective marketing strategy, online reviews such as Yelp are also effective.
One of the great online advertising and marketing companies is Yelp, an organization that aims to connect customers with local business owners. It is so reputable that over 100 million users visit each month, according to Forbes. By signing up as an individual, one can post online reviews about a business.
One downside of popular online review sites is the validity of these posts. Family, friends, relatives and employees of an organization can boost the online reputation significantly. There are same users who continuously post positive reviews. And there are anonymous competitors or bitter ex-employees who will make it a point to tarnish the reputation of a business owner in just one click of a button. Online reviews can be as powerful as creating more customers. However, it can also make businesses lose customers.
Yelp’s content guidelines highlight that it will remove reviews that are inappropriate, promotional, and irrelevant such as rants about political affairs. Moreover, it will remove comments from those having conflicts of interest, those who are inactive users, and those who violate intellectual property or using other people’s sites. These are the sources of many controversies. There are people complaining about Yelp’s ability to remove negative reviews. There are also allegations that Yelp removes negative reviews for a business owner who advertises on the site. However, allegations were dropped and denied in favor of Yelp proving that the guidelines are there for users to follow.
Freedom of Speech and Responsibility
Yelp has created an online platform with the main objective of connecting communities and businesses. Posting damaging reviews is the antithesis of what Yelp wants to happen—an online community where people and business owners are trying to have a healthy dialogue through customer’s insights so that businesses can improve their products and services. Many think that freedom of speech has no boundaries and limits, when genuine freedom should come with responsibility.