With news that customers can now review your business directly from Yelp’s iOS app, it’s become increasingly important that you keep an eye on what’s being said. Whether you own a restaurant, museum, retail chain, or a food truck, your customers are talking about you on Yelp, and what they’re saying has a lot of influence.

An infographic from Merchant Warehouse, created by Column Five, showed that 90 percent of Yelp users say that positive reviews affect their buying choices. But while social media use among consumers has risen, the company found that not everyone — particularly businesses — is taking advantage of Yelp’s opportunities.

Of the businesses surveyed, 87 percent don’t actively use review sites like Yelp, and 22 percent of businesses with Yelp pages have never actually looked at them. Considering that the average increase in annual revenue for businesses with Yelp accounts is $8,000, these stats are pretty alarming.

In addition to increasing revenue, a March 2013 survey of 812 businesses found that many companies are also seeing increased customer awareness since joining Yelp. Seventy-seven percent said that Yelp has changed the way they respond to customer issues and complaints — which is one of the biggest advantages of social media.

Whether you’re looking to increase in-store traffic, average dollars spent, or the quality of reviews, review sites like Yelp pose a big opportunity for your business. The infographic below highlights some of the advantages that Yelp offers, including more data about purchases and industry. There’s no better time to take control of your social presence.


[Via: Mashable, Image credit: Robert Young]