Yelp, Websst, and Foursquare are the online directories for local business marketing.
|Websst, Foursquare or Yelp?
The three marketing tools used by companies in their marketing strategies and based on gamification (making use of a game for the user through a system of rewards and competition) compete with their smartphone applications to lead these peculiar valuation spaces and criticism of public spaces and local businesses.
See what are the main differences between these customers review websites and why your local brand must be present there.
Although these three free marketing tools oriented to small and local businesses have points in common.
However, all of them also have certain differences. Let's analyze them below:
Find the best restaurant, the best plumbers nearby, the most popular bakery or the best hairdresser in the neighborhood thanks to user reviews on Websst. Founded at the beginning of 2018 in Zurich, this very successful start-up made in Switzerland is now a leader in online reviews in Europe along with TrustPilot and TripAdvisor.
The founders of Websst were looking for the "next big idea", the next good idea. When trying to find a doctor on Google, they realize that what is missing most is the opinion of the patients. Difficult to imagine in Switzerland, this kind of service explodes. Anyone can comment on anything.
You register on Websst and from there you can give your opinion on all the local businesses in Europe (not only, but mostly local businesses from Europe are existing on Websst.com, unlike on Yelp, for example), services,shops or anything else: your favorite plumber, the best restaurant nearby, a place to get your hair cut or fix your car ...
For any local business or local brand or service, you can write a review; Literally any service with an address that exists on Google Maps can be reviewed.
The idea behind Websst though is to find local brands with decent quality that communicate in English (only) and are based or operate in Europe.
Marketing at Websst
There are many ways to advertise a business on Websst.com, but most popular are business cards/business pages, free classifieds, local business listings and many more. Even if Websst is not one of the sites like Craiglist, still users can post free classified ads or listings for events, jobs or even reals estates.
Websst have useful features and if your business communicates in English and/or it is based or operating in Europe, then it is definitely one of the online listing directories where your small or local brand or business must be present.
One of the main strengths of Yelp against Foursquare has been its association with Apple, and that also in the US, this network is almost a religion (even in the irreverent South Park they used it as the theme for an episode). Also, another great plus point is that voice search tools like Siri (Apple) and Cortana (Microsoft) use Yelp to filter local search results.
Apple had a special interest in undoing Google Maps from its devices, which meant losing a third of users, so it launched its own map app. Finally, due to the imprecision and errors of its application, Apple was forced to allow Google Maps to return to its store.
Since then, Apple has improved its app and, as in Google Maps, Google Places is the tool through which we can assess the places we visit, in the case of Apple the gap is occupied by Yelp.
Without a doubt for the competitor of Foursquare, it constitutes a great competitive advantage in the case of users of iPhones and iPads.
Gamification on Yelp
As in Foursquare, there are a series of badges that we achieve by making, for example, repeated visits to certain categories of premises.
In front of the mayoralties of its competitor, Yelp displays an entire aristocracy of titles:
Regulars: For those who make 2 or more check-ins in a business in a few months.
Duque: Occupied by the regular with the highest number of check-ins.
Barón: Won by having the largest number of duchies in the neighborhood.
King: The one with the largest number of duchies in the city.
The Elite: Members of the Elite display a special badge on their profile. A user becomes part of the Elite when their activity on Yelp is considered of high quality (valuable advice, useful comments, etc.)
Unlike Foursquare in which comments are open, although we can report them as spam if necessary, on Yelp the comments are filtered and the special AI of a city's Yelp watches over the veracity of photos and comments.
Marketing on Yelp
There are also ads on Yelp that allow users to get discounts when they check in to advertisers' businesses. In addition, depending on the type of location, Yelp allows you to make reservations directly from the application, for example, a restaurant can propose different times for yelpers to make their reservation and to have lunch or dinner there. The advantage of this type of promotion is that they are free for business.
On the other hand, Yelp's ad policy is quite aggressive and invasive, as your competitors' ads can be displayed on your business listing. To prevent this from happening, you can pay another Yelp service so that your listing is free of advertising from your competitors.
Yelp is very advantageous for businesses in urban areas, where this social network has a great presence, even with figures such as the community, who are people who make events to publicize Yelp among local businesses and promote synergies between them and users.
Foursquare or their Swarm App
Its use, as in Yelp, is based on the user's geolocation. This can check-in by communicating that you are in a place with your friends, and share it on social networks.
The main difference with Yelp would be given by the functionality of Foursquare that allows you to check-in for your friends (to check-in you need to use another app called Swarm), and it has instant messaging system enabled (using Swarm). Let's clarify this a bit, until now when you were in a place with friends you could mention in your check-in that you met them; in this way, when each one carried out his own check-in and mentions, a series of cross mentions was created. With the new function, the crossing of mentions is simplified and avoided as a single person can check-in for himself and for his friends. In order to do this, it is a requirement that we have authorized that friend to check-ins for us.
Another common feature is that adding a business does not strictly require the intervention of the owner. Any use of these networks can add it, so it is common for many owners to be unaware that their business is on Foursquare or Yelp and that their customers are possibly leaving their evaluations and opinions.
A nuance would be given by the so-called Foursquare Superusers, who after passing a knowledge test have privileges, compared to common users, such as adding data and editing sites without being owners, merging duplicate sites.
Regarding the aforementioned gamification, users compete with each other to obtain different types of rewards. Let's see it:
Gamification on Foursquare
The Weekly points ranking.
Each valid check-in grants a series of variable points, according to criteria such as if it is the first time you visit the premises, upload a photo or do a check-in with your friends, these points accumulate throughout the week establishing a ranking with your friends, and in Swarm (the Foursquare Check-in app) you can collect your prize by clicking with your finger.
Stickers (old Badges)
Without a doubt, one of the most attractive aspects of Foursquare is the stickers that you can add to your checkins.
Stickers are an “evolution” of badges, badges that Foursquare awarded that were reminiscent of Boy Scout badges. Currently these "stickers" are icons that can be added to your check-in.
We obtain them by checking in a certain number of times or in specific places. There are eventual or associated badges for specific cities.
The mayor or major on Foursquare is the user who checks-ins the most in a place in the last 60 days. These fight to win and keep the mayoralties of their favorite places; In addition, the mayor is rewarded with special promotions in some businesses as a way to reward his loyalty.
Marketing at Foursquare
Specials: Specials are offers that establishments can make by attracting Foursquare users by offering them an advantage over other nearby businesses.
The owner or manager of the business also plays with the fact that when checking in to get the promotion, the user will be communicating his presence in the place, making it known to other people.
We could group Specials into two categories: attracting new customers and loyalty. Thus an Attraction Special can offer advantages to those who visit the business for the first time or who bring their friends; one of loyalty would reward the user for repeating his visitor for being the Major.
The existence of Brand Pages or brand pages. From them, brands can communicate with users in the style of a publication on the Facebook wall. It is an especially useful tool in the case of chains with different stores.
Statistics. Foursquare offers us statistics about our visitors, publications, and promotions that can help us understand our audience and carry out effective marketing actions.