• Hugh McPherson

where oh where did my yelp reviews go?

The Media Store is different kind of digital marketing company with our main desire to find the products that bring our clients' clients the best results! This is at the center of who we are, and we test everything ourselves to see what happens. We decided early on that much of social media was either misleading or total BS. The problems with Facebook were well documented when Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress April 10, 2018.

We decided at the beginning to leave social media to our clients and their clients to figure out. We knew it needed a real commitment on the part of the clients and their customers and the margin does not fit our model for our clients or us. But these waters are rough to navigate for most and our re-sellers have asked for help and we do not like to turn them away.

The Media Store's Yelp Page - April 2019

When our clients started to ask for help with Yelp this was a challenge for us to investigate because it is a local based program and we work on a nationwide platform. Because we do not work in one specific market as a local business, it did not seem like we could investigate it effectively for our clients. We decided to try and came up with a plan that seemed to be a good one.

We spent a considerable amount of time building out our Yelp page and started to deal with challenges from the beginning. The site would NOT let us put in 24-hours in our listing, Google+ did allow us to list these as our hours, and they put in the hours THEY wanted for us! We also had to deal with an unending slew of calls from VERY pushy Yelp sales reps. The Media Store works in a nationwide space and is not focused on any one local market; however, we chose Miami since that is where we are based.

We wanted to try all aspects of and responded to one of their offers of FREE ads, but the Yelp sellers told us we could not buy ads to promote our business because of our nationwide platform. This was disappointing but they make the rules, so we continued to build out our site. However, their overly aggressive and downright mean-spirited sales phone calls continued with new sellers badgering us to buy ads!

We decided we would work to get REAL reviews from our clients and their clients based on our hard work, customer-focus and exception customer service! Right away we started getting reviews with two 5-star reviews in our first week that we both real based and written by our clients! We were excited and thought this was a neat program and we would encourage our clients to build a Yelp page even though we make NO money from it!

Then as quickly as it was written, our first 5-star review had vanished from our Yelp page! Like Sweet Polly Purebred looking for Underdog, we were stunned and had no idea where oh where it had gone! Several small business owners had told me of this happening to them followed by very aggressive sales pitches from Yelp to buy ads! The next day our only other review also was gone so I decided to talk to Yelp customer service - which DOES NOT exist! What does exist is an overly aggressive sales office that was never taught customer focus or manners!

I called an got a hurried explanation about a special algorithm that consumers love because it filters out reviews based on yada, yada, yada! The explanation was short, made no sense and as I questioned it the guy got downright nasty. So, we decided to do more research on this special algorithm and how it worked and found this video from The Washington Post.

So, what is our conclusion for our clients and their customers? The social media environment is one where the haters are lurking and sharp with the tongue. The Media Store has been a vocal critic of a large radio company and its business practices. However, this is from our opinions developed from first-hand knowledge of circumstances and not trying to coerce others into spending money with our company!

What about Yelp, what is our recommendation? These waters can seem so nice because the listing is FREE and can lead to business right away. But no company can exist on a business plan that charges nothing, someone has got to pay! Take your time, research businesses in your category and look for alternatives to Yelp like customer reward programs that help you get your own customers back over and over!

Anyone who has gone to lunch with me knows that I absolutely love hamburgers! I am a raving fan of 5 Guys, Culver's, Whataburger and McDonald's and I couldn't care less what anybody writes about any of them as a review because I will always return! Especially when McDonald's has Big Macs at 2 for $5 like they do right now!!!

We have found several, but the best is Tapmango. It is simple for your customers to use; helps you reward repeat visits and all your customer must remember is their mobile number! Want to check it out click below and request a demo!