Clear, concise, and regular communication is the key to connecting with your customers and generating business—now more than ever. Yelp Connect is an engaging tool to get your customers’ attention and share timely updates about your operations. Plus it’s easy to set up by logging into your Yelp for Business account.
Whether you’re a restaurant owner or a chiropractor, the biggest question customers have about local businesses like yours right now is: “Are they open?” Keep your message simple, and try a Connect post that lets people know you’re open, including basic details about when and how they can interact with you.
Are you available for curbside pickup or contactless delivery? Give a brief rundown of which products and services are available now, and invite them to patronize your business. Share exciting updates or changes to your normal operations, such as a new happy hour schedule.
If you’ve pivoted to open up new revenue streams with services you didn’t offer before, be sure to highlight that to your community. As we enter the winter months for some parts of the country, new dining arrangements—such as heated tents for outdoor dining—will be the factor that sets you apart from other available options, so be sure to share those details.
For restaurants specifically, be sure to communicate all the carryout/delivery options and platforms that are available to your customers. If someone knows that they want to enjoy your food, the next bit of information they need is how they can order it.
Health and safety protocols
Your customers’ health and safety concerns and expectations have radically changed over the last few months. Whether you’re an essential service that has continued operations or you’ve been closed and are preparing to reopen, consumers want to know about the new safety and sanitary measures you’re implementing. Proactively communicating those actions via Connect will help build trust with your staff and your clientele.
If you’re an in-home service provider, like Piece of Cake Moving & Storage, let your customers know what kind of protective gear your team will be wearing and what procedures you have in place for disinfecting the home before and after your services. This New York moving company has helped thousands of residents move safely during COVID-19, using Connect to share information about contactless moving, discounts, masked movers, and increased sanitization of moving equipment.
Consumers are eager to support local businesses and are looking for those that have taken the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of their customers, staff, and the community.
If your business is offering virtual services of any kind, use Connect to help spread the word. From online workout classes to virtual zoo tours, consumers are open to trying new things online right now.
Even businesses that don’t have an obvious way to pivot to virtual services have been getting creative. Some jewelers, for example, are offering virtual ring consultations so that customers can move forward with celebrating special occasions, even while at home.
Wellness providers have also been going virtual to help clients easily access the expertise of a physician. For some medical professionals—such as therapists—telehealth has opened up new options that some patients may continue to prefer in the long run.
Fitness businesses have a similar story. The accessibility of virtual fitness classes has left many people thinking they won’t return to their traditional gyms again even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Providing live, engaging virtual content may be the way of the future for many businesses. Some fitness centers have also pivoted to hosting workouts outside, sharing the new outdoor setups on Connect.
If you’re able to meet clients in person again but are also still conducting virtual visits, be sure to present both as options so that you can accommodate for the varying comfort levels of your customers.
Tips, education, or instruction
Sharing your expertise during these difficult times can be exactly what your customers need to feel supported right now. If some or all of the services you typically provide are on hold, what tips or virtual support can you provide to stay top of mind and help your customers?
Everything from why you should outsource bookkeeping to how to play your best golf game could be relevant to your current and future clients right now. Using Connect to share your expert advice is a great way to jumpstart conversations and organically develop a lead list of potential future clients. It also helps to keep your business top of mind to people who hadn’t thought about services that you’re able to provide right now.
If you have a lot of information that doesn’t fit within one Connect frame, you can use a Connect post as a teaser. Give an overview of the topic and then link to a blog post or page on your website, just like Pier Market Seafood Restaurant of Simco Restaurant Group did. “People love seeing what we’re doing, and they want to know what to expect,” said Marketing Director Ines Rodriguez.
Deals, discounts, offers, and rebates
Gift cards are a fast and direct way to source funds for your business, and many consumers are looking for easy ways to support their local favorites right now. If you’re offering discounts on gift cards, let your loyal customers know that they can support you with a purchase.
If you’re promoting special deals on services or products—whether it’s a new offering or a discounted rate—outline all the details for your potential customers in a Connect post. Include information about the product/service itself and the special pricing to build connection and excitement even from a distance.
If you have a deal specifically for frontline or essential workers, showcase that prominently. Not only will it attract those community members who you’re hoping to serve, but it will highlight your business’s support for the community.
Offering a Yelp-specific deal or directing customers to your preferred transaction point is also a great way to track the activity coming in from your Connect posts.
Connect posts don’t always have to share preplanned information or evergreen content. Connect is perfect for sharing information about a special event or promotion you want to draw attention to—or even something that’s happening in the surrounding community that would be interesting to your group of followers. Connect is helpful for these pop-up style events, and posting this type of content also encourages customers to come back to your page often to check out what else you may announce.
Fundraising, events, and collaboration
Setting up a fundraiser or virtual tip jar to collect donations for your employees or to pay your operating expenses can be a convenient way for your community to support you directly, even if they’re not able to get your goods or service right now. There’s a lot of evidence that people want to support their communities, and as a local business, you are part of that lifeblood they want to keep alive right now. Use Connect to alert your customers about any fundraisers to support your business or your staff.
Collaborations with local organizations or other businesses are another great way to spread awareness about what you’re currently offering. If there’s another local business that you typically partner with or refer customers to, consider teaming up to see how you can support one another by providing bundled services or promoting each other’s offerings. Collaboration is worth celebrating and communicating to your network via a Connect post.
If you’re hosting events or utilizing your business’s brick-and-mortar location for a gathering, you can promote those happenings through a Connect post. For example, Win Athletic Club hosted a trunk show in their parking lot and promoted the event on Yelp Connect.
The Coronavirus has caused so many small businesses to pivot in unexpected ways in order to survive the new and constantly changing orders and regulations. The health crisis has also created opportunities for new services, like more rigorous disinfection of businesses and offices. Cleaning companies have adapted to provide COVID-19 sanitation services, and if this is something your business is offering, it’s important to spread the word—and a Connect post is a great way to do that.
Businesses have also shifted to offer support and education on financial matters like loans and other financial resources. If your business has expanded into a new COVID-19-relevant service, make sure you incorporate that information into your customer outreach.
The lifestyle of your typical customer has likely also changed in many ways over the past six months, so think of additional ways your goods or services may directly address those needs. Decor Rehab knows most people are spending more time on their couch than usual, so they’re promoting ways to fix your sagging furniture.
Highlighting one of your customers and/or their reviews is a great way to market your business and highlight the types of services you offer. Similar to how you share reviews on social media or promote positive feedback on your website, you can highlight a happy customer (with their consent) in a Yelp Connect post.
With the holidays upon us, you may have special items or offerings to highlight in the coming months. Use Connect to visually show what customers can expect from your business this holiday season, and in the description, paint a picture that gets consumers excited to celebrate with you and your business.