Yelp is an online review site that bills itself as the “fun way to find, review and talk about what’s great — and not so great — in your area.”

Given the fact that it’s been around since 2004 and boasts over 50 million unique visitors a month, it’s another great location-based application to build word-of-mouth advertising about your business.

And one of the best ways to get local people talking about your business and win new customers in the process is to host a Yelp Event.

How to Create a Yelp Event

A Yelp Event is exactly what it sounds like — a listing that you create on Yelp to help advertise your event. The great benefit is that you can add details about your business and encourage community building around your brand at the same time you’re promoting the Event.

Currently, Yelp only allows the creation of Events in larger cities. To see if you can post a Yelp Event in your city, go to and search for your city among the “Other Cities” tab.

See if your city can host a Yelp Event

If your city doesn’t appear in this shortlist, click “More” and you’ll be presented with a larger list of cities where Yelp Events are possible.

Search More Cities for yelp Events

You’ll even get a more definitive list of cites if you click the “More Locations” link. Assuming Yelp allows for an Event to be created in your city, choose your city from the cities listed and click the red “Add an Event” button. You’ll be redirected to a login page. If you don’t already have a personal Yelp account, click the red “Sign Up” button.

Login to Yelp

Note: You don’t need a business account on Yelp to create an Event but if you haven’t already done so, here’s how to list your business on Yelp.

Finally, you’ll be presented with the Yelp Event creation page. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to include your business, its location, photos (on a subsequent page), your website address, and complete details related to the Event.

Yelp Event creation page

How to Win New Customers

One of the keys to success is to really sell your Event in the “What & Why” description field (even Yelp advises you to “sell it”). The keywords you use to describe your Event are searchable within Yelp so it’s a good idea to include words that are pertinent not only to the Event, but to your business as a whole.

Once your event has been created, you’ll be given an opportunity to “Discuss This Event”, thereby creating a dialogue with other Yelp members. You can also click the “Send to Friend” button to invite other Yelp friends, and even non Yelp friends, to your Event.

Invite Yelp friends to your Event

Like any social media promotion, the sweet spot to winning new customers on Yelp is to build relationships around your business and your brand. Creating an Event is just the beginning of that goal — not the end!

Make sure to reply to everyone who participates in the discussion about your Event. Engage with people who have said “I’m In” — Yelp’s version of an RSVP.

Consider attending some of the other Events in your city that are listed on Yelp. This will not only increase your profile within Yelp but within your physical community as well.

Finally, try and make your Event something your guests will remember and talk about with their friends on Yelp. Continue to build upon the momentum your Event generates within the Yelp community and with a little luck, you’ll have new customers singing your praises — and filling your cash register!

Have you hosted a Yelp Event in your city? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.

[Image Credit: Diana Beato]