Thursday, 13 March 2014

Yelp - my new social media heaven!

by Bex

You may have noticed that I have recently become a little obsessed with Yelp.  Some of you haven't heard of Yelp, I only discovered it last year when I was contacted by the Community Manager at the time, Chris, inviting me along to an event to find out more.  Roz and I had a fab time at Cocktail & Burger and both joined the site but never really fully embraced it (when you already write a blog and work full time, new apps and more writing can just be too much!).  Now, though, I am absolutely addicted!

Yelp is basically a review site but not just for hotels and restaurants but any business.  However, it's actually much more than that.  It's also a social network with lots of features and a great way to make new friends.  The new Community Manager Briony, who I just happened to know via various Glasgow food blog meet ups and events, is just lovely and is absolutely brilliant at encouraging users on Yelp and she arranges some fantastic events on Yelp!  I'm happy to say I've recently got to know her better and she's become a great friend too :)  Another one I'll be sad to leave behind when we move to Brighton, I'll have to have lots of visits back to see everyone!

Anyway, I think one of the reasons I have recently become such a Yelp fan is that it's just perfect for me at the moment.  When things are tough and I'm struggling, it's a safe place for me to dwell.  Although it's all about different businesses, it does tend to be mostly about foodie places and I love seeing what people are saying about local businesses in Glasgow, especially the many new ones popping up all over.  As such, there are no new baby announcements, no bump pictures or scans.  Although these are lovely, sometimes I do want to avoid them if I'm feeling low about the IVF which as you've probably noticed, does happen from time to time (and more so lately, although I'm feeling good at the moment!).  Yelp gives me the perfect break from Twitter and facebook when I need it but has also become quite addictive!  I love food as is pretty obvious from this blog and getting ideas of new places to visit and seeing others' photos of food is right up my street :)

Some of the many features include checking in (you can earn badges for various things - sounds random but it's oh so addictive, I want more badges!!), the talk feature which you can use to ask questions, find out about new openings, events (official and unofficial) and generally make friends with fellow Yelpers.  There are lots of events organised as it has become quite a friendly little community in Glasgow and I've already made some great new friends through it!  I'm hoping the same will happen when I move down to Brighton as they have a Yelp community there too!  (I've already been stalking some Brighton Yelpers' reviews!)

The more you check in and write reviews, comment on others and generally contribute to Yelp, the more benefits you'll get from it.  Not just the pointless yet fun badges (I have 14) and 'dukedoms', but you can become Elite!  Being Elite is not just a fancy title, it gets you in to special Elite events, organised by Briony to explore what Glasgow has to offer.  You don't have to be elite to be included though.  I recently received the coveted elite banner on my profile but have been to lots of events previously as a 'normal' member.  Some are free and some aren't but they're all fun!  Some businesses also offer check-in offers too!

There was the awesome #GalleryOfGlasgow launch event at Stravaigin recently, the #PakoraPassport launch night at Mother India, Roz got a place to sample chocolates at the newly opened Hotel Chocolat in St Enoch Centre and the original Cocktail and Burger event we went to (all free).  I've also been along to a couple of brunch club outings (brunch at the Malmaison was discounted as we were Yelpers) and one of the other pakora passport evenings.  They've all been great fun (even despite the unfortunate pakoras at Punjabi Charing Cross) and I've met some lovely people.  I can't wait for the next event!

Brunch at the Malmaison

Brunch at McCune Smith

I like how Yelp is more community based than other review sites.  Because it's designed to be a local review site it gives you a good flavour of what the locals think of places; although you can also write reviews for anywhere you visit.  I'm also using it to compile a Glasgow bucket list before we move away using the bookmark feature on businesses I want to try or go back to.  I've already had a few suggestions in the Talk section of Yelp  :)


Anonymous said...

Aye. Righty oh...

Kirsty | A Safe Mooring said...

So glad you've found this awesome community, Bex! Knowing you, you'll be bang in the middle of the Brighton scene within a week of arriving :)

Bex said...

Thanks Kirsty! :)

Unknown said...

This is so cool. I'm with Kirsty and reckon you'll be in the middle of everything so quickly x

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