Ready!
Set!
Engage!  Getting the Most Out of Yelp & Facebook

IN OUR SUMMER AND FALL ISSUES OF COLLISION PROS, we covered setting up Yelp and Facebook Business pages. Here we’ll explore how to get the most benefit out of those efforts.

You’ve created your Yelp and Facebook for Business pages, and now you’re ready to engage! Let’s focus on what matters most: engaging with your local community in a way that cuts through the clutter. Social media has created a new phenomenon: social proof. The more five-star ratings, great reviews and likes viewers see, the more likely they are to engage with your business. Managing your social media channels to build positive engagement is the key.

BEST PRACTICES FOR YELP
You run a great shop with a loyal customer base, so you should succeed on Yelp simply by updating your profile, keeping the messaging positive and staying active to help customers find you and grow your business.

The first three steps are:
1. Find Your Business
2. Claim Your Business
3. Build a Great Profile

It’s critical that your profile is accurate. Research shows that 27% of Yelp searches are used to find the location of a business.

YOU’RE NOW READY TO FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO YELP SUCCESS:
Encourage Reviews—Let potential customers know you’re on Yelp. Put a Yelp sign on your business office front. Contact customers who’ve given you positive feedback in the past and ask them to post a review.

Uncover Good Reviews—Sometimes Yelp filters push positive reviews down into the “not currently recommended” section. The Yelp filter attempts to eliminate fake reviews by removing those that are from profiles with no image, no friends, little engagement, and very short, uninformative text. Of course, some of these are legitimate reviews. Yelp’s automated review system filters around 20% of the more than 39 million reviews. Thankfully more legitimate, real reviews make it past the Yelp filter than those that do not. You can improve your chances of having a review get through the Yelp filter by engaging the review and reviewer by:
• Adding the reviewer as a friend
• Upvoting the review as funny, useful, cool, etc.
• Sending the reviewer a compliment

Be Responsive to Reviews—The Yelp search algorithm favors businesses that actively manage their profiles, so being responsive can raise their rankings. Respond appreciatively to positive reviews and respond to negative reviews sincerely and constructively. Apologize, ask how your services could improve and describe the steps you’re taking to improve.

Make Announcements and Offers—Use Yelp’s announcement tool to broadcast important business updates and use the official Yelp Deals to give your Yelp community special offers. The bottom line: Staying active and responding to reviews in a timely and positive manner can build your solid reputation in the community.

Respond quickly and professionally—33% of negative reviews turn positive after the business owner has responded and addressed the situation!

FACEBOOK NEWSFEED: QUALITY IS THE KEY. Your Facebook for Business page should focus on quality posts, not quantity. Facebook filters out irrelevant and poor-quality posts, so only the best posts will display high on your customers’ newsfeeds. Ryan Taylor, CEO of Body Shop Booster, offers three Facebook rules of thumb that can help deliver results.

RULE 1: TARGET YOUR CUSTOMER. Body shops should focus on proximity when posting Facebook ads. The average urban body shop only draws customers within a five-mile radius for an estimate (14 miles if rural). Use Facebook’s geotargeting tool to reach people in your primary market area and to target neighborhoods where your ideal customers live.

RULE 2: IF YOU CONFUSE THEM, YOU LOSE THEM! Taylor noted that the most common marketing mistake he sees is “shops bragging about themselves.” Posts about your equipment and qualifications don’t resonate with potential customers. “Look at your message through the eyes of the customer,” advises Taylor. “Talk convenience, support, assistance, simplification. A collision is a stressful event—show how you can help.”

RULE 3: MAKE IT EASY TO CONNECT WITH YOU! The more quickly you engage with a person, the more likely they’ll become your customer. “Shops often make it difficult to do business with them—we’re only open 8:00-5:00, the same hours your customer works!” continued Taylor. “Make it easy for your customer to contact you—use Calls to Action (CTAs) with a phone number or a link to your website.”

Building your social media community can be rewarding and fun. Just stay active and walk in your customers’ shoes. They’ll engage with you when they see that you’re their partner in keeping their Toyota’s safe and reliable. To learn more about how you can leverage social media to boost your body shop business, check out the University of Toyota’s Social Media Class B0040.