For many purchases, I research what other people say about the products that I am considering buying. Sites like CNet.com, Amazon.com and Buy.com have good product information and a wealth of customer feedback from those that have bought the products and experienced them first-hand. Sure, some of the reviews are probably planted to promote the product, but I have to believe most of them are real reviews from real people.
Yelp.com is a social media site where people can come to give open and honest feedback about local businesses. One obvious use for this is food related reviews for local restaurants. And they have plenty of them. Click here to see a bunch of restaurants reviewed near my home like Spin Pizza, Jack Stack BBQ, Mi Ranchito and Ingredient.
Like other social media sites, you create a free profile, provide some information about yourself, and then start reviewing businesses that you like or don’t like. I haven’t written any reviews yet, but my profile on Yelp is jasonterry.yelp.com in case you want to see what a user profile looks like.
If you own a business, you can create a profile for your business that can be found by other Yelp users when looking for information on businesses in their area. Watch the 90 second video on how you can use Yelp to grow your business! Also, this gives you the ability to respond privately or publically to people that have said things about your business. (You can read and respond to positive or negative messages regarding your business so that you are more in control of the public perception instead of some random reviewer giving your business a positive or negative spin.) I just got done setting up a Yelp profile for Blue Gurus and it takes only a few minutes.
Regardless of type of business (B2B or B2C = Business to Business or Business to Consumer) I recommend setting up your business profile so people that don’t know about you can find you! The price is right compared to other forms of ad space… FREE.