Time for an idea. When I was out in Vegas, I thought about how we’ve changed how we find places to go eat and activities to do on vacation. We used to just drive up and down the street and look for a place that looked good. Sure, we still do this every now and then, but for the technologically inclined, we can use services like Yelp! to educate ourselves on what’s out there and what’s good or not. So part of me wants to think that most restaurants know about this, but the other part of me knows that they don’t.
What I want to know is why don’t more restaurants encourage their patrons to go online and review their restaurant? It could be as simple as mentioning it when the waiter takes the checks, or it could go as far as to have a computer set up in the store where users can review it on site. You don’t even have to ask for a POSITIVE review, you can just say we’d love for you to review us on Yelp! so that other people can learn about your experience here.
The ownership could then use Yelp! and try and somehow send a private message to any negative reviewers apologizing for their poor experience and maybe inviting them back (heck, or buying them a free meal somewhere else!)
What’s at the heart of what I’m getting at here is that smaller sized businesses can utilize social media tools just as effectively (probably even MORE effectively) than huge corporations, they just have to know what tools are relevant and useful for their business.
Do you have any killer ideas for how small businesses could better utilize social tools?