Editors note: This article was originally posted on the Official Yelp Blog.
Yelp and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) hit the road back in January to educate small business owners across America on what it takes to have success in a world where more consumers are using online reviews to make purchasing decisions.
We concluded our Success With Online Reviews tour last week in Miami, where we were joined by partners from the Small Business Development Center, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, and 880 AM the Biz radio host, Pete De La Torre, who broadcasted live from the event. Our panelists included Vic Ruiz, owner of Sweet Dogs, the highest rated hot dog joint on Yelp in Miami, and Julio F. of the Miami Yelp Elite squad. Vic told the audience he built his online reputation by focusing on solid customer service and a great product. As he puts it, “I don’t ask for reviews, I let my food speak for itself.” Julio (who has written over 200 reviews) says he’s motivated to write reviews for the same reason many other Yelpers get involved on our site -- a desire to share his experiences with the community in the hopes it helps them find great local businesses.
From Portland, OR to Atlanta, GA, the Success With Online Reviews tour hit seven major cities and featured two nationally webcasted events. Several thousand small businesses registered for these workshops and attendees walked away with some valuable insights.
Want to learn more but didn’t get a chance to join one of these events? Don’t worry, there are still plenty of opportunities for small business owners to learn valuable online marketing tips. Yelp hosts free webinars every other week which businesses can register for here. Meanwhile, the U.S. Small Business Administration just announced the schedule of events for National Small Business Week which will be held May 12-16, 2014. For future updates on the Success With Online Reviews initiative, be sure to check out www.sba.gov/onlinereviews.