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February 25, 2013 @ 12:00 am
Corey Dane, senior community manager for the online directory Yelp.com was the featured speaker at the Social Media Breakfast Madison event on February 20. Corey spoke about the importance of connection to brand success as a founding principle of Yelp’s business model. Yelp is a local directory service that is built around social networking and user reviews. A video of the presentation is available for viewing here by Jeffrey Powers from @geekazine. The PowerPoint with animations is downloadable here: SMBMAD_FINAL
Corey highlighted three keys to success in building a stable of devoted followers: get personal, forge connections and embrace fun. By figuring out what you uniquely offer that moves people and giving customers a way to implement feedback business owners can make great strides in building a community. “Learn what is important to your customer and why it is important” said Dane. “Then make what is important to them important to you.”
His example for how a focus on connections can build loyalty was Starbucks. In a recent survey of the top 10 restaurants in social media, Starbucks was ranked at or near the top in the major platforms, and voted “best loved” food brand. Their focus on cultivating current relationships with sharable coupons, customized drinks and charitable endeavors all serve to build tremendous brand loyalty.
Fun can build community, and Corey presented a number of companies that successfully embrace the lighter side. One well known for that philosophy is Southwest Airlines. Corey played a video of a flight attendant who presented the usual staid safety talk as an entertaining rap song, complete with all relevant tips. Yelp helps businesses with this “call to fun” by helping them hold entertaining theme parties and events to bring customers in their doors. From Fiesta De Pijamas to Yelp’s Under the Sea, these parties bring people together in memorable ways. “Businesses can make a lot of inroads in building their brand if they are willing to compliment their static ad presence and replace it with live events.”
As one of Yelp’s core values, Corey encouraged the audience to remember what they liked to do as a kid and to bring those feelings into their business. “Laugh out loud,” he said, and “build a forum where people can create, discover and inspire one another. When there is a fundamental shift in focus, from why you can’t do something to why are you not doing something, then the fun and the growth and the community building begins.”
A big shout out to our sponsors: BEST WESTERN PLUS InnTowner and The Highland Club Charter Business, HiveMind, LLC, pc/nametag, DiditDirect, Melissa Carlson Creative, Suttle-Straus, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., and Food Fight’s Bluephies Restaurant and Vodkatorium, Market Street Diner and Monty’s Blue Plate Diner.for the fantastic coffee and hot breakfast.
Links from Corey:
SOUTHWEST TAKE OFF RAP
YELP CAME KNOCKIN’
POSITIVE SIDE OF NEGATIVE REVIEWS
WHY RESPOND TO REVIEWS
HOW I BUILT A REPUTATION ON YELP
WHY DOES YELP HAVE A FILTER
YELP MOBILE ON THE VIEW
Prezi introduction by Mike Walsh