How Brands Can Benefit From “Yelp Knowledge” Social Analytics Program

What Happened
Yelp is launching a “Yelp Knowledge” program to help brands with multiple store locations get a more comprehensive idea of what their customers are saying online. Brands that join this program will gain access to Yelp’s dataset of “over 100 million reviews and 12 years of historical data for local analytics and insights.” The company is also expanding the group of third-party companies that can directly access its complete reviews data, adding Medallia, Reputology, and Revinate to the list.

What Brands Need To Do
According to a recent study by Google, 74% of local searches result in same-day store visits and 28% of those searchers made a purchase. As an integral part of the local search ecosystem, Yelp reviews have a strong impact on how local businesses are perceived by prospective customers. Therefore, this new program and extended third-party service access should come as welcome news for brands that manage multiple locations, particularly those in the QSR and retail verticals, to tap into Yelp’s vast dataset of customer feedback to identify and act on opportunities for improvements at each store.

Source: Marketing Land

Facebook To Take On Yelp With Local Listings

What Happened
Facebook is quietly testing a new feature that would make Yelp anxious. The social network has started to test out a new feature named “Facebook Professional Services” on its desktop site that will help users discover the best-rated and reviewed local service providers in their area.

What Brands Need To Do
As Facebook continues to make its platform more brand-friendly, brands should learn to use these new customer service tools and reach out to consumers on Facebook. Also, given that the local search results in a number of categories are pulled in from local businesses’ Pages, it is important that businesses and brands make sure their Page information is correct and up-to-date.

Source: The Verge

Amazon Echo Adds Local Business Listings From Yelp

What Happened
With a software update pushed out over-the-air over the weekend, Amazon’s smart speaker Echo now pulls local business listings from Yelp, making it possible for users to ask Alexa for basic information about any local business, including phone numbers, addresses, opening hours and more. After answering an inquiry, Echo also offers additional information sourced from Yelp about the resulting businesses in its smartphone app, including Yelp ratings and price range.

What Brands Need To Do
Since Amazon surprised everyone with the launch of Echo about a year ago, the Alexa-enabled smart speaker has been quickly gaining new functions, adding support for smart home devices in April and integrating event information from StubHub in August. As its list of features continues to grow, Echo is becoming increasingly business-friendly, creating a unique platform for brands to connect consumers in their living rooms in a conversational context. Therefore, it is important for local businesses and national chain-store brands to make sure their store information is listed correctly on Yelp, so as to be accessible via Echo.


Source: Marketing Land

How Facebook Is Using Beacons To Launch Place Tips

Read original story on: VentureBeat

Facebook is looking to take on Yelp and Foursquare with a new feature for its mobile app that delivers useful info about your location right into the News Feed. Dubbed “Place Tips”, this new feature will show you things like posts and photos your friends have shared about a certain place or business nearby, should you choose to opt in.

Moreover, the company is planning to test out beacons with small local businesses in order to make its tips as geographically accurate as possible. The pilot program has started for users in New York City, marking Facebook’s first entry into the hyperlocal market, just as our creative director Scott Varland predicted months ago.

Pivoted Foursquare Debuts With New Logo

Back in May, Foursquare announced its decision to split its service in two: moving all it’s checking-in and location-sharing functions to a new app Swarm while the Foursquare app set for re-launch as a discovery-focused app. After nearly 3 months, Foursquare is now revealing its refreshed new app, accompanied with a redesigned logo, aiming to shake off the preconceptions about the company. Repositioned as a Yelp-esque local discovery and rating app, the new Foursquare promises a highly personalized discovery experience with its “hyper-contextual recommendations”. This is a turning point for the company for sure, but whether it is a turn for better or for worse still remains to be determined by the mobile users.

Yelp Launches New SeatMe

Yelp has debuted a new tool for restaurants, bars, and other nightlife businesses which would allow them to accept online reservations for free. It’s a free version of Yelp’s SeatMe product, which has been on the market for some time already and sits in direct competition with the likes of OpenTable. Right now, the free version of SeatMe is only available in the US, the UK, and Ireland, but Yelp is looking to expand into more regions soon. To register, businesses will need to make a Yelp Business Account; users who make reservations will receive a notification six hours before the reservation time, and an SMS about an hour before. Yelp is also making a widget to encourage more reservations on websites. Whether it can compete with already entrenched reservation services remains to be seen, but it would be a boon to Yelp to have user data on who is reserving where, and when, across the board. 

Foursquare Tips Growing Faster Than Yelp Reviews

Although Foursquare is known for check-ins, the tips its users leave behind in the Explore search and discovery section of the app are rapidly becoming compelling assets for the startup. There are now more than 33 million user-generated tips, which is up 65% from last year – more than Yelp’s soon-to-be-released growth numbers. In addition, the tips on Foursquare are easier to parse as they are embedded seamlessly into its search engine. So although Yelp has reviews that are more curated, the mobile-centric platform lowers the barrier to entry for most users, and the shorter snippets of content seem to be more popular with a broader base of users. 

Yelp Acquires SeatMe To Further Reach Into Restaurants

Yelp – the restaurant rating service that has come under fire of late for hounding store-owners to pay for good reviews – acquired SeatMe to add to its review service. SeatMe is an OpenTable-like service that allows customers to make restaurant reservations online; the news comes after Yelp also announced its entrance into the food delivery industry. Yelp hopes that this deal will enhance the customer experience further, allowing Yelp to be a one-stop shop for the restaurant business.  

Foursquare Revamps Business Pages

In a continued effort to rebrand and expand its offerings, Foursquare has been evolving from a friend-finder to an expansive recommendation engine. Yelp is their foremost competitor, and with that in mind, Foursquare is revamping its online pages to keep pace with the high standard that its mobile apps have set. According to the company’s data, 50 million people come to the site every month for recommendations and reviews, and most of these viewers are actually from Google. The new design puts the emphasis on the advantages that Foursquare presents, namely its ability to generate relationships between similar places and judge appeal based on hundreds of check-ins and likes. The service, in its new incarnation, isn’t too different from a Pandora for restaurants and bars. Whether it can compete with Yelp’s already established 100 million monthly visitors remains to be seen, but they’re definitely trying to make a concerted effort at trying.