Skip to main content

It's neat to be Elite

Almost a year ago I posted about Yelp and how excited I was to join the elite squad. Since that time I've had a lot of fun, written 100 more reviews, made new friends and have been renewed to the elite squad for another year. So, I thought now that I have some more experience y'all might like to know some more about why I yelp, and why you should too. 

For the record, this is very unofficial and only reflects my personal opinions. 


Yelp can be a very controversial topic. I know business owners who hate and business owners who love it. Businesses have been slammed with bad reviews when one bad customer experience goes viral and sadly there are a tiny group people out there that will be paid to write a good review. I promise y'all, I have never received a penny or comped meal in exchange for a review and while I do have a few negative reviews out there it's less than 10% of my yelp activity. So why did I want to be elite you might wonder? I'll admit it - the lure of the awesome parties. Once a month an exclusive event is held for the elite squad and usually includes free food and beer / wine. Over the past year we have sampled fun burgers, ate awesome seafood, listened to cool music, and visited some awesome Memphis spots at yelp events. Last month our awesome community manager held the fabulous Yelpies annual award ceremony and it was pretty sweet - think wedding reception without the boring wedding ceremony or family drama. 

Shaun and I at the Yelpies, Roaring 20s theme 

So yeah, free stuff is cool but what's been really great is the connections - to both the people we've met and to the awesome places in the city. 

Hopefully you're reading this and thinking "OMG, I need to be a Yelp Elite, how to I make that happen". I just so happen to have some unofficial advice for you from one Elite to hopefully soon another. 

1. Write Reviews! It's that simple, but also not simple. I see a lot of reviews that seem to be just for the purpose of writing a lot of reviews and giving star ratings. No! Write solid, useful reviews. What did you like, what do you recommend, and what is the customer experience like. Yelp is pretty mysterious on the elite credentials (fyi, the group is not selected by the community manager) but it seems like having a good percentage of useful reviews is key. Quality over quantity here. 

2. Get involved 
You don't have to be elite to participate in yelp fun. Every month there are CMYEs (community manger yelp events) open to the entire yelp community. Also, the chat threads are a great way to get to know other yelpers and learn about cool places around town so jump in and join the conversation. 

3. Be real 
Yelp doesn't use your full name, its first name last initial, but there's is an expectation of using a real picture. Real people stand beside their reviews because guess what, real people read them. Unless you are a super special government agent there's no reason why you can't be you on yelp. And to be quite honest, people who don't have pictures but post negative reviews come of as bullies or really sad people with too much negativity in their life. Which lead's me to my next point . . . 

4. Be reasonable 
As I said, less than 10% of my reviews are negative. Along the way you will find places that aren't that great, it happens and it's ok. Some people prefer to follow the if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all approach. That fine but it looks a little odd if you only give 5 star reviews so at least be fair and give a variety of 3 to 5 as warranted. But more importantly, don't go crazy on the bad reviews. I saw a user recently where over half of the reviews were bad, really? Having to ask you waiter for a refill on coke is not 2 star worthy, just sayin. Also, I've seen people that have multiple check-ins at places they haven given negative reviews to, well it's obviously not that bad. 

5. Remember that REAL people read Yelp reviews. 
I'm very value conscious in my reviews, I get really upset if I walk out of a business feeling like I wasted money there, but at the same time I understand not everyone has the same value system as me, or taste for than matter. So in my reviews I like to include details on why I think a place is a good value. For example I recently enjoyed a very nice meal at one of the more upscale restaurants in my town and while I enjoyed it I couldn't give 5 stars because if I had footed the $350 tab for four people I would have been disappointed to see that much money leave my account. But $350 is a double digit percentage of my paycheck (which means I make under$100k a year nosey), perhaps if I made more I wouldn't mind that kind of bill so I can see how the restaurant had plenty of 5 star reviews. Point being, I write my review to the real people reading it. It's so annoying to see a 5 star review that just says this is great, or a 2 star that says it's awful -why?!?!? 

6. Keep a Community Focus 
Yelp is not just a place to take out frustrations at businesses, or to write glowing reviews of your friend's business - Yelp is a community. I see a lot of people use the chat function once or twice for their own needs but never contribute to the conversation, and there's users who seem to only write a review when they have an agenda. There's really no rule as to how or why to use yelp but the purpose is to form connections - to people and places. Yelp has been a great way to feel connected in my own city and to learn about where to go in the places I visit. Like most users I started using Yelp when researching places out of town but the information is only good if people contribute. 

7. Be nice
This should really go without saying but seriously, don't use Yelp to troll people or businesses. It's unproductive and there's plenty other social media for that. 

8. Be honest 
If a business is great than please say so, don't keep it a secret share the love! But also if a business could use improvements don't be afraid to say so. You don't have to be a snooty food critic about it but a sympathy everything's great does no favors to the business or your fellow yelpers. 

9. Be yourself 
The BEST reviews have personality. Writing generic reviews is a waste of everyone's time - it's 2015 most business have a website. Something cool happens though as you write more reviews, attend events and participate in the chats - you find people like you. I've gone to so many awesome places because someone who reviewed a lot of place I know I like reviewed a place I was unaware of. I've also made some pretty cool friends along the way. 

10. Have fun 
Seriously, why would you spend your free time on something that isn't fun? As a user yelping isn't your job - so don't take it too seriously. 

If you live locally I hope I'll see you at a Yelp event soon. Happy Yelping! 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ipsy Ocotber 2017

I thought I had unsubscribed from Ipsy but apparently I just skipped last month so yesterday I had the unexpected surprise of an ipsy bag in the mail. The October bag is really cute and I will absolutely use this as my purse makeup bag. As for the products I have mixed feelings, here's what's inside:   Marc Anthony True Professional  Hydrating Coconut Oil $11.80 I usually don't use a oil in my hair but my ends have been kinda dry and frizzy lately so I figured hey why not. I was pleasantly surprised how this didn't make my hair feel greasy or weighted down and it did make the ends smoother so it's something I would consider purchasing in the future. I do wish it came in different scents, this one smells beachy which is nice but this time of year I'd prefer a less tropical scent.
Dermelect Nail Polish $12 I'm not even going to link to this product I thought it was that awful. I personally am not a fan of the shade but that aside the formula had an awful app…

Sunday Secrets - Behind the Filter

Two weeks ago I posted a "Sunday Secrets" post giving a little insight on the real me vs the social media me and I really enjoyed it and decided to try making it a regular thing. When I first started blogged it was mostly just a journal about my life I shared with my facebook friends filled my thoughts and personal rants. Since "cleaning up" my posts earlier this year I realized that I've missed having that outlet and I've worried that in only talking about this beauty product or that outfit I might be too shallow and it's ok to be a little bit real online sometimes. So today I'm taking about my life behind the instagram filtered lens.

Instagram filtered version of me  Latley I've been a little overwhelmed by adulting. I don't remember my parents ever acting like just being an adult is hard. I was too young to remember much from when my paternal grandfather died but I do remember my maternal grandparents dying within a year of each other a…

Trunk Club Review

Recently I saw the trunk club service advertised on instagram and I was very interested. The service started as a personal shopping service for men but since being purchased by Nordstrom has expanded the service offering to women. The basic premise is something similar to Stich Fix - create a profile providing sizes, likes and dislikes, converse with a stylist and be sent a box with 10 items to try on -keep what you like and send back the rest. This service has a $25 styling fee that is waived for Nordstrom card holders. When I first created my profile I knew that I wanted to add some tops to my wardrobe but I was really looking for a dress to wear to my brother in laws upcoming wedding. I was super excited when my assigned stylist indicated I could request specific items and there were three items I asked to be included. Before the trunk is sent out you have the option to preview, decline any items that are not what you're looking for and then either just get the previewed item…

Nordstrom Rack Memphis

Last week was a big week for Memphis shoppers - our very own Nordstrom Rack opened! I like Nordstrom Rack, it's one of my favorite places to shop online, so I was excited to hear that we were getting one in Memphis.


When visiting the new store I was surprised at how much it reminded me of a TJ Maxx. The home section is much smaller, the shoe section much larger and there's no jewelry case but otherwise it's similar in size, layout and merchandise. One difference I appreciate is that the purse and clothing sections are separated out by designer - so if for example you're looking to buy a Tory Burch bag you don't have to look through all of the bags - they are organized together. Shoes are not separated by specific designer but they are in two areas - regular and designer, which seemed to be shoes over $150 a pair. Super small home section Women's clothing Purses! I really want one of these Rebecca Minkoff bags Pretty earrings For plus sizes I'm torn on ho…

Vi Peel

Hello! So I got my first Vi Peel which I was super excited about. Since the Botox post was popular I figure y'all would like this too. Besides, it's well established I'm beyond any sense of privacy or shame here.
I got my first peel years ago - a mild Glycolic peel added onto my facial when I turned 23. Then a few years ago I went to a friends Botox party, I was 26 and scared of Botox at the time but I got a TCA peel and liked the results but not the price tag so I bought the solution online and started doing them myself. All was fine and dandy at home until I stopped following the instructions, opps. The peel was supposed to be applied with a cotton pad , I had the genius idea this past march to brush it on. It dripped and got too deep into my skin resulting on uneven peeling.
So I had to wait for that mess to heal before I could get it professionally fixed. I decided to switch to the vi peel because its supposed to be better and hurts less, tca literally produces tear…