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! 


Popular posts from this blog

Spring Forward with a Wooden Watch

Hello Friends! Have you been making it to work on time this week or did your body have a hard time with the adjustment? Personally I am not a morning person so I have an easier time with fall daylight savings than I do spring. Here in Memphis the trees are starting to bloom and spring is in the air, which means its time to reflect the season in my wardrobe. I've swapped out my purse from black to blush, added a few new floral tops and got a new watch to help keep me on time as I adjust to the time change. For my watch, I selected the Frankie Purpleheart & Plum watch from Jord. Not only are oversized watches so in right now but I love the use of the Purpleheart wood and plum face to give a twist on a classic style watch. As y'all know love all shades of pink and I think the coloring of this watch goes with it so beautifully and the blush tones of my outfit really make the distinctness of the Purpleheart wood stand out.
I've been very intrigued by the wooden watch tre…

My blogging philosophy

It's my blogger / insta versary! Well sort of, but not really. I started this blog under a different name in 2009 and there were times when I posted a lot and times when I neglected it but mostly I used it as a creative outlet, a journal if you will that I didn't mind sharing with my Facebook friends. I blogged throughout my 20s about a lot of things 20-somethings experience - dating, job frustrations, the transition to adulthood but as I crossed to the other side of 30 and settled down into marriage those topics were no longer relevant- not that I am ashamed at all of the person I was or the journey that led me to where I am today but as my life shifted my priorities shifted as well and while I still very much wanted a creative outlet I decided to reinvent my blog life into more traditional blog topics and used my great closet makeover of 2017 as my kickoff project / inspiration  . . . so that actually happened a little over a year ago.
Meanwhile I had also been on instagra…

Pretty in Pink Easter Dress

Hello and Happy First Day of Spring!!! I'm so lucky to live in an area where in general the weather feels like what you would expect for each season - it's hot in summer, cold and winter and while some years we don't get the perfect day on the first day of spring it is starting to warn up and some flowers have begun to bloom. As much as I'm a planner I have a terrible time shopping for clothes in advance - when it's cold I want to wear sweaters and when it's warm I want cotton dresses gosh darn it so typically Easter creeps up on me and the week of I find myself scrambling to find something to wear. Yes of course I could just pull something I love from my closet but Easter represents new life and new beginnings and I always like to treat myself to a new dress.   So, when you've having all the Easter feels what's a girl to do except go take some pictures - and even better if you're lucky enough to live near a Jeff Koons Smooth Egg with Bow sculpture…

Spring Style at Wal-Mart (yes, Wal-Mart!)

Recently I've seen some of my favorite bloggers buzzing about some new clothing lines at Wal-Mart, so of course I needed more information. Turns out, Wal-Mart is re-vamping their clothing offerings across the store and with that are two new ladies lines - Time & Tru and Terra & Sky. Time & Tru offers straight sizes but does go to size 22 while Terra & Sky is the plus size offering starting at size 14 and going up to size 26. In theory if you're a size 14 to 22 you could shop both lines so since I fall into this category I decided to test it out. First off, it's important to note that Time & Tru also has accessories - jewelry, handbags, shoes and even swimsuits / cover ups. Look at these super cute earrings I scored - they were $4 y'all!!!!! Look at all the earrings! I had a very difficult time sticking to just one pair, I think next time I'll grab the black and white flowers and a pair of tassels. So now let me show you some things I tired on…

Sweater Weather

Although I could do without the snow and single digit temps I do love winter because a lot of my favorite clothes are winter clothes. There's something about a cozy sweater that makes me feel good so of course I'm loving the current trend of statement sleeve sweaters.

With trends I really have to be careful to control myself, especially with these because it's a style I REALLY like. Without the little voice in my head reminding me that I do not need a closet of practically identical pieces I would own several of the tiered sleeve sweaters, thank goodness for that voice! For the tiered sleeve look I went with black because it's versatile and since this is such a trendy piece and there's no guarantee this will be in style come next winter I wanted something I would get a lot of wear out of this season. Likewise when buying a bell sleeve cardigan I wanted something I could wear throughout winter and possibly into spring - this sweater with jeans and a comfy tee unde…