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3 steps to executing a successful Yelp campaign

3 min read


Social media use involves more than obtaining fans and Twitter followers, and it continues to evolve. Companies need to become more creative in terms of driving potential consumers to their business. A dynamic and strategic online-to-offline campaign is key to accomplishing such a goal. With the multiple social networks come free tools that you can utilize to develop memorable and effective campaigns.

Here’s a look at a Yelp campaign for a restaurant that opened in December, MLT Cheesesteaks and Grilled Cheese. The case illustrates three steps that any eatery can use to execute a successful campaign.

Determine the type of contest or campaign

Social network review websites are important to the growth and customer acquisition of any restaurant. Millions of consumers use Yelp to review restaurants and decide where to spend their money. Consumers are also constantly looking for restaurants to call their own, take their friends to and brag about to their family. The difference between a bad review and a great review online can make or break a restaurant’s reputation.

For MLT, the Sociallybuzz team developed a fun and compelling Yelp competition to drive elite Yelpers and influential foodies to increase social and brand awareness. We specifically chose Yelp to tap into its most influential users, Yelp Elites, who competed in a strategic eating contest featuring one of MLT’s most popular cheesesteak sandwiches.

Ten Yelp Elites engaged in an eating contest with MLT’s The Miami Heat cheesesteak. After three rounds, three cheesesteaks and lots of peppers, two semifinalists were picked to go head-to-head to win a $50 MLT gift card based on who ate the most spicy cheesesteak the fastest.

Executing a fun campaign like this on a popular social platform such as Yelp can enhance your restaurant’s reputation by having customers rave about their amazing experience and your food. This will trigger genuine word-of-mouth marketing, build customer loyalty and increase repeat customers.

Define your objective

These are all great reasons to activate a campaign.

  • Increase local brand awareness.
  • Build consumer loyalty.
  • Track loyalty.
  • Generate positive word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Increase sales.
  • Gain Facebook fans.
  • Increase Twitter followers.

Measure the campaign’s success

Once you determine the objective, it is easy to match up results against your objective to determine the success of the campaign.

MLT successfully achieved and executed its goals and objectives.

  • Localized online chatter about the MLT brand increased dramatically since announcing the eating competition.
  • Consumer loyalty increased significantly.
  • The restaurant gained positive word-of-mouth marketing and reviews on Yelp as well as other social networks.
  • Sales increased even before the eating contest.
  • Facebook fans and Twitter followers increased to include consumers who live or work within a 10-mile radius.

Sales increase is great, but the number of authentic reviews, feedback and positive word-of-mouth marketing your business receives from such a campaign can be priceless.

Andre Kay is CEO and chief marketing officer of Sociallybuzz, which provides social media management, marketing, fan-page application development and social media consultation. The company is designed to help brands and businesses develop a firm foundation in social media and marketing while delivering the greatest number of options in how they define or reach their relevant audience.