Does this sound familiar?
You’ve been pretty passive about your company’s Yelp profile over the years because it didn’t seem like a high priority. Some “okay” reviews piled up naturally and everything seemed fine.
Then you get a negative review. Legit or not, this review sticks to the top of the page and isn’t going anywhere.
After learning that you can’t remove the review, you decide that the best defense is to bury the negative with a bunch of positive. So you contact your happy clients and ask them to give you a good ranking. A few of them agree, but after a few week you notice that their reviews aren’t being shown, but are being hidden under the “not currently recommended section”.
What gives? Yelp doesn’t disclose the exact way its filtering works, but they do give some general instructions, and a little understanding of reputation systems will help. The more reviews you write, and the longer you have an account, the higher your trust rating. But there are some things you can do to improve the credibility of your profile and posts:
Complete your profile
This is good advice for any personal or business account. The more information you fill out, the more committed and real you will seem to the algorithm and any human verification process that might occur.
Upload a picture of yourself
Again this important. The yelp equivalent of the twitter egg doesn’t instill trust in your profile.
Link your Yelp account to some other accounts (Facebook/Twitter)
This is one of the most important ways you can prove you are a real person. Don’t worry, Yelp wont post anything to your Facebook wall (unless you let them)
Within Yelp establish some friends
If you are actually using Yelp for social media, you would be following your friends to see what they like. Find some popular Yelpers and follow them too.
Write some (3-4) interesting reviews that other people vote up as being useful, interesting, or cool.
If your account has only 1 review, it will seem like you created your account just for this review.
Write like a human
There’s probably some semantic and syntactic automated review: so when writing, try to make the verbiage look credible: use sentences, paragraphs, and punctuation. Spell things out, no SMS-speak. Make them longer than a sentence (but please, no novels), and try not to use too many words that sound like you’re just ranting.
Write a mix of reviews
Also, write some positive, negative, AND neutral reviews, don’t just use Yelp as a dumping ground for rant or praise. Include some soft criticism so your posts seem more credible. This is important for the posts you want to stick. If your post is 100% praise, it triggers some doubt that this post might be created by a fake account or done by a friend or employee. The criticism can be completely harmless (“parking is difficult” or “pricing is reasonable”), adding it will make your post more human.