Customers Can Now Send You a Direct Message on Yelp…And Other Hot Topics

Potential customers can learn a lot about your business on Yelp.

In addition to seeing what others have to say about your business, they can also check your hours, find your location, and even view your menu or a listing of your services.

But there are also questions that can’t be answered on your Yelp business listing. And for that, Yelp has added a brand new feature that will let potential customers ask you questions directly.

Learn more about the new Yelp feature, and find out about two new studies that could change the way you approach your email marketing and social media strategy.

1. Yelp now lets consumers send businesses direct messages

Yelp added a new feature this week, giving consumers the ability to send messages to businesses directly through their Yelp business listing.

The new feature will add a message the business link within the contact information on a business listing. When someone sends a message, the business will receive an email and can reply without having to log into their Yelp business account.

Users will also be shown the business’s average response time, giving them a sense of when they can expect to hear back from you.

To activate the feature, you must first claim your business listing on Yelp.

Bottom Line: While many business owners still have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with Yelp, there’s no denying that Yelp and other listing sites are important for helping you reach new customers.

With this new feature, potential customers won’t only be able to read reviews and learn more about your products and services; they’ll also be able to communicate with you directly. And because messages connect with your email inbox, you’ll never miss a chance to respond.

By taking steps to control the information that people are finding, and making yourself available to respond to messages regularly, you could soon have a valuable new outlet to help attract new customers and do more business.

2. Report: 54 percent of mobile email opens occur within 4 hours of delivery

According to a new report from Knotice, more than half (54 percent) of all email opens on smartphones happen within four hours of an email being sent.

The report compared opens on smartphones, tablets, and desktop and found that 46 percent of email opens on desktop take place within the first four hours, and just 40 percent on tablets.

When looking at the first two hours post-send, the report found that one-third of email opens on smartphones take place within the first couple hours, compared to 28 percent on desktop, and 20 percent on tablets.

Bottom Line: It’s no secret that people check their phones constantly throughout the day. One recent study found that the average user checks their device 27 times per day. Other reports put that number as high as 150 times per day!

All this mobile activity is giving business owners more opportunities than ever before to reach customers and potential customers, but also means you need to be thinking of mobile every time you hit send.

We recently spoke with small business owners who made the switch to mobile and have seen some great results. Find out how they did it!

3. Report: 70 percent of brands have a social media content strategy; only a third test their content

A new report from the Association of National Advertisers, found that more than 70 percent of brands have a social media content development plan in place.

Popular content types include: posts (96 percent), videos (87 percent), product/brand information (69 percent), and links to articles (57 percent).

The report also found that of those brands that are consistently creating social media content, 66 percent do not invest the time to research or test the content across different platforms.

Bottom Line: Testing your content is one of the best ways to build an effective social media marketing strategy for your small business. Rather than just posting what you think your fans and followers will want to see, testing lets you empower them to tell you what they really want.

It also allows you to better understand the different ways you need to communicate across your different platforms. While on Facebook people may be more likely to comment, like, and share images or videos, you may find that on Twitter it’s relevant news and links to helpful articles that gets your audience’s attention.

By putting a plan in place to track your results, you’ll be able to offer a more engaging experience for your social media audience, and will have more opportunities to generate results from your social media marketing.

Here are some helpful resources to help you get started:

What top stories caught your eye this week? Let us know in the comments below.

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