Beware: Bing & Yahoo Only Display Yelp Reviews!

Yelp Reviews: The Downside For A Business

Earlier this year, Yahoo signed an agreement with Yelp and now they showcase only Yelp reviews in their search listings.  Microsoft Bing also has an agreement with Yelp to display their reviews.  The downside to this for a business is that if you have a low star rating on Yelp and negative reviews on Yelp…your Yelp rating, reviews and reputation are spread onto Bing Local and Yahoo Local as well.  So beware, if your Yelp reputation is not a good one…you need to take extra action to build, manage and market a great reputation across the internet so consumers and prospects are not as swayed by the Yelp reviews that are now published on Yelp, Bing & Yahoo!

Your Bing & Yahoo Reviews Are GONE!

Also, Bing & Yahoo no longer show reviews that were previously left on their own sites so any reviews your customers left you on Bing or Yahoo are now gone from the internet.  All the more reason to ensure that the online reputation you’ve worked so hard to build doesn’t disappear from the internet.  To do this you need to build a great reputation on NUMEROUS review sites, your website, your blog AND on your company’s social media pages.  The worst thing you can do is leave your reputation in the hands of just one or two major reviews sites!

All the best,

P.S. – Contact us if you need help building, managing and marketing a great 5-star online reputation!


10 Online Reputation Management Tips You Need To Follow

Below you’ll find a list of Online Reputation Management Tips that are very important for every business.

  1. Don’t send your customers to Yelp!  (Click link to read why.)
  2. Make sure your product or service is worthy of 5 Star reviewsOnline Reputation Management Tips | Monitor What They're Saying
  3. Make sure your customers are receiving top notch service from every staff member including management and the business owner
  4. Claim your business listings across the internet so you can respond to reviews
  5. Ask your customers to review you
  6. Monitor what is being said about your business on social media, directory listings, etc…
  7. Respond appropriately to ALL negative reviews and try to make the situation right for the customer if at all possible
  8. Respond quickly to negative & positive reviews
  9. Request feedback on specific products, services and/or staff members
  10. Don’t keep your positive online reputation a secret, market it

Bonus Online Reputation Management Tips # 11 & 12

A positive online reputation is perhaps the greatest asset your business can have and something that you should not take lightly.  Therefore our list of online reputation management tips simply must include the following…

If you are a business of any size, to truly manage your online reputation and market it so you Get More Customers, you need to:

11. Hire at least 1 or 2 part-time employees or a full-time employee, OR…

12. Retain us to BUILD, MANAGE and MARKET a 5 Star Online Reputation for your business…while INSPIRING YOUR STAFF and creating a company culture that will get you more 5 Star Reviews and More Customers!

As experienced Reputation Marketers, the value we bring is priceless!  And our fees are much, much less than the cost of hiring an employee(s)!

Contact Us

We hope the above online reputation management tips were useful to you.  Feel free to contact us to learn more about our Online Reputation Management & Marketing services.


Online Reviews Insight From Pepperdine University Study

Why Online Reviews & Reputation Are So Important

In the slides below, you’ll find the results of a study that Pepperdine University conducted regarding online reviews.  (To enlarge the slides, click the 4 arrows in the lower right hand corner of the slide viewer.)

Stats from the study include the following:

  • 70% of respondents said that ONLINE REVIEWS influenced them when deciding which hotel, restaurant, dentist, plumber, etc… they would contact or purchase from  (see slide 3)Online Reviews & Online Reputation Management
  • 90% of respondents said that traditional Yellow Pages do NOT influence their buying decisions  (see slide 3)
  • When making a buying decision or leaving a review, MORE people use Google’s online reviews/ratings system than they do Yelp’s website  (see slide 6 & 7)
  • Most people will Not try a hotel, restaurant or professional service provider if they have a 1, 2 or 3 star rating but they will try them IF they have 4 or 5 star rating  (see slide 8)
  • 69% of the people that post a negative review will post it on 1 consumer review site BUT 19% will post their negative review on 2 sites AND 8% will post it on 3 or more review sites


The stats above, and those found in many studies, clearly indicate that having a positive online reputation and plenty of 4 and 5 star online reviews can help YOU get more customers!  So what are you waiting for?  Request a free online reputation report below to learn where you need to improve your online reputation.

Request FREE Online Reputation Report

Curious what people are saying about your business online?  Request a FREE Online Reputation & Visibility Report by clicking here.  Once you’ve looked over your FREE Report, contact us if you need help managing and marketing your online reputation to get more customers.


Yelp Reviews Are Filtered: Businesses Claim Extortion In Lawsuits

Beware, Many Yelp Reviews Are Filtered or Hidden

Did you know that Yelp reviews are filtered based on a Yelp algorithm?

  •  A “filtered” Yelp review is Not readily visible to the public
  • AND, it is Not taken into consideration in Yelp’s overall star rating for a business

Actually, Yelp just changed the wording on their website as follows:

  • Non-filtered Yelp reviews are now called “recommended”
  • Filtered Yelp reviews are now called “not currently recommended”

The bottom line is that Yelp is still filtering reviews regardless of the change in wording on their website.  You can view filtered Yelp reviews that are hidden, many of which are 5 star reviews, by doing the following:

  • Scroll to the end of the first page of a business’ reviews
  • Look for a light gray “link” that starts with a number and then says “other reviews that are not currently recommended” (or look for a number followed by the word “filtered”)
  • Click the link to view all of the reviews that Yelp is Not taking into consideration when they publish a business’ overall star rating

What I’ve noticed is that some of my customers are getting a bad rap on Yelp…and it is mainly because Yelp is filtering out…or hiding…a large number of their 5 star reviews!  I’ve read numerous blog & video comments from businesses saying that they are experiencing the same thing.  And many businesses are suffering, or having to close their business, due to Yelp’s review filtering practices.  Does this make sense or seem fair to you?  It doesn’t to me!  Below are videos that tell the story of just a few of the businesses that say Yelp’s practices are extortion!

Class Action Lawsuit: Businesses Bitten By Yelp?

Michael Turko, KUSI News Investigates

(Video uploaded to YouTube 7/03/12)

Why Are Yelp Reviews Hidden From Consumers?

Brook Silva-Braga, The Washington Post

(Uploaded to YouTube 5/21/2013)

ABC News Coverage of Lawsuit Against Yelp

(Video about an older class action lawsuit, uploaded to YouTube on 2/26/2010)

Yelp Does Businesses a Dis-Service!

You Need To Look At The Big Picture

My plea to you, in support of all the small businesses out there, is that you take a Yelp Reviews and their Rating System with a grain of salt.  Look a little further into a business’ online reputation & reviews before you make a snap decision on which business to purchase from:

  • Read Yelp’s non-filtered reviews…sorted by date so you can see the most recent comments in case a business’ reviews have improved or gotten worse over time
  • Read the “filtered” Yelp reviews
  • Read a business’ reviews on other sites such as Google+, Merchant Circle, Kudzu, TripAdvisor, UrbanSpoon, Insider Pages, etc…  (The list of sites where you can read online reviews goes on and on.)
  • Look for testimonials/reviews on a business’ own website or blog, on their LinkedIn company page, their Facebook page or any number of other social profiles

Once you’ve looked at the bigger picture of a business’ online reputation…and not relied solely on Yelp…you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about who to buy from or do business with.  And if you post online reviews, consider posting on more reputable sites like Google+, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, etc..  (Update:  You can no longer post a review on Bing Local or Yahoo Local.  Read “Beware: Bing & Yahoo Only Display Yelp Reviews!” to learn more.)

If more people do the above, I’m hoping that it will help small businesses avoid the Yelp review death trap!

Share This Blog Post

To Inform Others & Help Small Businesses

If you’ve decided that there really is a bigger world of online reputation out there, that goes beyond Yelp reviews, please share this blog post with your friends, family & business associates.  If enough people rally for the small business, we can make a difference for them!


Social Media Revolution – The Video

Social Media Is Not a Fad – It’s A Revolution

I recently attended a networking luncheon and the speaker showed the above video.  The creator of the video, Erik Qualman, made the original video back in 2011 and has since created at least 3 updated versions.  I’m sure you’ll agree that the video is pretty cool.

The statistics you’ll see in the video about social media usage may startle you!  They may even impress you.  But what do the stats mean to you and your business?

  • Do they mean that you need to be using Social Media for your business just because millions of other people are?  Not necessarily! 
  • Do they mean that you’ll be successful with Social Media Marketing if you jump on and try it?  No, they do not!
  • Do they mean that perhaps you should consider Social Media Marketing as a way to interact with, engage, inform and/or inspire your target market and customers?  Yes, most definitely!

So, sit back and relax…watch the short video and contemplate how Social Media Marketing might impact your business.  Then, give us a call if you’d like to discuss whether Social Media is right for your business and how to use it effectively and efficiently.




4 Ways To Post To Facebook Fan Page From Mobile Phone

How Busy People Find Time For Updating Their Facebook Fan Page

One way that busy people can work in a little time to post an update on their social media pages is by posting via their mobile phones.  I’m not suggesting that you use your phone while driving, in a meeting or spending time with family or friends.  What I am suggesting is that you can probably find a few minutes here and there between appointments or some idle time while standing in line at the post office, etc…  Perhaps you can use these idle moments to post an update to your social media pages or respond to a comment or question that a fan/follower/connection has posted.

With the above in mind, I’m going to share with you a few ways to post to your Facebook fan page via your mobile phone.

Post To Your Fan Page From Your Mobile Phone

Below are several ways that you can access your Facebook fan page while on the go:

  1. You can use your mobile phone to emailMTE-fan-page-on-mobile photos & status updates to your fan page by sending them to the email address that is associated with your fan page.  To find your fan page’s email address, go to the settings for “Mobile” in the Edit Page section of your Admin Panel.
  2. I have a phone that uses the Android operating system. Using it and the standard Facebook app, I can navigate to one of my fan pages using the Menu and then click on “Update Status” or “Share Photo”.
  3. You can also use the “Pages Manager” app for Android phones to update your page’s status, share a photo, post an event, etc…  (I believe the iPhone also has a similar app called Pages, Pages Manager or perhaps Facebook Pages.)  I know from experience that the standard Facebook app and the Pages Manager app have slightly different functionality and display content differently so you may want to try both apps to see which will work best for your needs.
  4. If you can download the Hootsuite app to your phone, you can use Hootsuite to post on your fan page “as your fan page”. Hootsuite will also allow you to post the same info on to multiple other social media profiles at the same time. (Hootsuite is my preferred 3rd party provider for posting to social media sites, etc… however other providers such as TweetDeck most likely have the same functionality.)

Another Way To Make “Mobile” Social Media Posting Easy

If you find content that you’d like to share on your social media pages, save it to Evernote (or a similar content clipping service) or send it to yourself via email.  Then next time you find yourself standing in line or waiting for someone to show for a meeting, pull up the content from Evernote or your email…and post it to your Facebook fan page or other social site.

For the last few months, I’ve been focusing on filling would be wasted moments with productive work…I actually wrote this blog post while at Starbucks killing time between meetings.  You may not have a laptop with you while you’re on the go, but you probably have a smartphone so you may as well use it to be productive and do a little social media “marketing” for your business.


Website Marketing Seminar On April 10th

The Poway Chamber of Commerce Marketing Advisory Team (MAT) launched their first Marketing Seminar Series, “Developing Your Marketing Playbook”, in March of 2013.032713-seminar-photo-1b

“Developing Your Marketing Playbook” is a series of three seminars that were designed to provide actionable tips that attendees can implement to attract & retain more customers.  The first seminar in the series sold out and had standing room only!  What a great way to launch…

April 10th Seminar Topics & Speakers

The next MAT Seminar on April 10th will cover the following topics:

  • Making Your Website More Effective – presented by Kevin Gyberg of B2 Software
  • Attracting Customers via Online Ads & Targeted Remarketing –  presented by Toby Danylchuk of 39 Celsius Web Marketing

If you are interested in attending, I strongly suggest that you register now before the seminar sells out (like the last one did).

Register Now – April 10th – Marketing Seminar

WHAT:  Developing Your Marketing Playbook

WHEN:  April 10, 2013

WHERE:  Poway Chamber Office

VIEW FLIER:  Click here

REGISTER NOW:  Register Now on the Poway Chamber website, click here

The MAT is a committee of the Poway Chamber of Commerce.  It is made up of chamber members with an expertise in marketing and technology and I am honored to be a member of the Team!  I look forward to seeing you at the MAT seminar on April 10th where Kevin and Toby will be speaking.

Kimberly Yow

Why You Need A Facebook Business Fan Page

Facebook created Fan Pages (a.k.a. Business Pages) several years ago so users could use Facebook for business purposes without promoting their business on their personal Facebook profiles AND alienating their friends.  A Facebook fan page allows a user to keep their personal posts and their business posts completely separate and to control who sees what by adjusting their privacy settings.

What You Can Accomplish With Your Facebook Fan Page

Different types of businesses will have different goals for their Facebook Fan Page.  Some of these goals might be to:

  • Create a dialogue with people who’ve “liked” yourSocial Media Conversation & Engagement fan page
  • Provide increased visibility for your company, professional association or charitable organization
  • Capture leads with opt-in forms and fan page “like gates”
  • Answer questions that your fans or “likers” have posted  (doing this will allow you to showcase your expertise)
  • Attract new customers, members or donors by allowing them to know, like & trust your entity

Fan Pages are a great way for your company, business or group to be seen by Facebook users which currently totals over 1 Billion!  If your business is like most, it will be important to provide useful tips and information on your fan page that will position your business as an industry expert.  The beauty of this is that when readers find your posts valuable, they will start seeing your business as a beneficial resource and they will sub-consciously start selling themselves on your service or product.

How To Pre-Sell & Stay Top Of Mind Via Facebook

You need to stay in front of your Facebook fans by regularly posting on your fan page.  If you do this and you successful engage with them, your fans will have you “top of mind” and they will think of your business when they have a need for your offerings.  They will also recommend your company when they hear of someone else that needs your product or service.

The bottom line is that, by providing your FacebookAttract & Retain Customers With Facebook Fan Page fans with helpful, valuable information, you are pre-selling them.  That’s wonderful because when they contact you they will already want what YOU have to offer!  In general, this type of person is not price shopping…when they call you, they are ready to make a purchase or retain your services for a solution that you recommend.

If you do not have a Facebook Fan Page yet, I would seriously consider having one set up IF you feel that your target market is using Facebook.  And, if you have the resources needed to successfully maintain and manage a fan page at least several times a week.


What You Can Gain From Social Media Marketing

If you are like a lot of people, you may use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc… for personal use and because they are fun.  But, you may not know how these same sites could benefit your business or company if you use them strategically.

The Stats Tell The Story

The fact is that more and more people are relying on the internet and their mobile devices for research, shopping, selecting suppliers and staying connected with business contacts.  Just look at the stats below from last year’s Digital Influence Index:

  • 89% of consumers surveyed use internet search engines to make buying decisions
  • 42% of consumers follow a brand on a social networking site and their overall greatest motivation is to learn more about the brand they are following
  • Almost 1 out of 5 people now look on Facebook to obtain information about a brand or product
  • Almost 2 out of 3 consumers surveyed use a mobile/smartphone to gain information on a brand, product or destination at least three or four days a week

Are you beginning to understand why you need to use social media for your business?

What You Can Gain By Using Social Media For Your Business

As the stats above suggest, if you don’t want to be left in the dust by your competitors, you need to have a strong presence on the internet and on social media sites.  While it’s one thing not to be left in the dust, you’ll also want to make sure you are effectively using social media so you benefit from the many positive results it can provide, such as:

  • Reconnecting with people you’ve lost touch with
  • Meeting new people that may become referral partners for you or your business contactsSocial Media Conversation
  • Meeting new people that may become customers
  • Easy access to up-to-date contact info for your acquaintances & business contacts so you never lose track of them
  • Your contacts will have easy access to up-to-date contact info for YOU
  • Increasing your incoming website links which will boost your search engine ranking
  • Building or increasing your internet presence so your business is easily found (more entries in the search engines)
  • Improving and managing your online reputation
  • Establishing yourself or your company as an expert in your industry
  • Feeling connected to others (especially if you work from home)
  • Having resources that you can call if you need help or advice
  • Developing trusted referral partners that you can refer out to customers (you’ll earn brownie points for doing this)
  • Gathering reviews or testimonials of your work or service that you can use for marketing purposes
  • Maintaining and strengthening your current business relationships
  • Having a communication channel where you can easily announce specials, contests, events, new product/service, low rates, great deals, etc…

To Get Results You Must Have A Social Media Strategy

Before you join every social media site that someone tells you about, take a little time to develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy or Action Plan.

Among other things, your Plan should define:Do You Have a Blogging Strategy?

  • What results you want to obtain by using social media for business
  • How much time you can invest in using social media or how much you can budget monthly to outsource your social media marketing activities
  • What information you can share on social media that your target market would be interested in or find helpful

With a little planning and effort, you CAN develop a winning Social Media Strategy that will produce benefits for your business.

If you want help developing a Social Media Action Plan and/or determining which social media sites are best for your specific industry or goals, we can providing consulting and guidance.  Just give us a call or contact us here.


10 Questions Your Blogging Strategy Must Answer

There are many blogs on the internet that have been started and then abandoned within a very short time frame.  In many cases, this is because the company did not have a clear blogging strategy before they started the blog and/or the blog writers did not have a passion for the blog’s main focus.

Developing a Blogging Strategy

Before you start a business blog, it is imperative that you have a solid blogging strategy or plan.  Your blogging plan should answer the following questions, just to name a few:

  • What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?Develop a Blogging Strategy: Answer These Questions
  • Who in your company likes to write, is good at it and would enjoy blogging?
  • Who will write blog articles?  Will your blog have multiple authors?
  • What topics will your authors write about? (Brainstorm a list of topics on a notepad so you always have a list of topics to turn to for inspiration.)
  • Will your blog always contain original content or will you also write short blogs that link to information your target market would find useful?
  • How long will your blog posts be?
  • How many times per week can, or will, your company post a blog article?  Are you willing to allot the necessary resources to accomplish this?
  • Do you have the resources in-house to maintain your blog or do you need to outsource it?

Business blogs should contain pure content that attracts your target market, engages them and keeps them interested, inspires or informs them and keeps them coming back for more great content.  The ultimate goal is for your blog readers to subscribe to your blog so they electronically receive your latest blog posts automatically.  (You don’t want to rely on them to magically remember to return to your blog…’cause it won’t happen!)

Benefits of a Successful Blog

Below are a few results that you will experience if you develop a clear blogging strategy and build a successful blog.  You will:

  • Increase the visibility of your business on the internet with more listings in search engines
  • Have an additional means of promoting your products or services
  • Establish yourself or your company as an expert in your field or industry
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Increase your sales leads

If you are looking for results like those mentioned above, you need to set yourself up for success and a great pay-off by developing your blogging plan BEFORE you start your blog. After you’ve developed a great blogging plan, and allotted the necessary resources, you need to have your blog set up and designed and then start producing great content on a consistent basis.  If you do, your blog will be off and running and you will start to see the positive impact it can have on your business.

Happy Blogging,

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