One of the most misunderstood social networking sites is Yelp! Is it a social network, a location-based check-in game, or a review site? Well, the answer is “Yes” to all three.

Yelp! Is designed to give users the experience of a social network geared at connecting with other users while also leaving reviews of products/services/companies on the site. While Facebook Places, Google Places, Foursquare and many other location-based apps attempt to do the same thing, Yelp! is moving ahead at a pace that deserves attention.

Yelp! released growth statistics last week that indicate they are a marketing channel every brick-and-mortar business should be paying attention to. Here are some quick stats you should consider:

  • Yelp! currently boasts 41 million visitors monthly
  • Yelp! has 15 million reviews (at the time the report was released last Thursday) and counting
  • The growth curve for this site has been exponential over the last 5 years. This means we can continue to expect people to interact with the site, telling people where they’re doing business, and writing reviews
  • 82% of Yelpers are under the age of 50, 36% aged 35-49.
  • 68% are college grads, 21% with graduate education
  • 63% earn $60k+, 35% earn $100k+

With these statistics, it’s hard to imagine why any business would not want to put their best foot forward. You can learn more about how to claim/list your business on Yelp! through a YouTube video they’ve provided.

Oh wait, I almost forgot, you do get stuff for claiming your business. Here’s some of what you can enjoy once you do claim your business:

  • Statistics on how many people are viewing your business on Yelp!
  • Ability to promote new offers, events, etc.
  • Ability to communicate, either publically or privately, with people who’ve reviewed your company. This allows you to address any dissatisfied customers/clients and make the relationship right again.
  • Increased exposure on traditional search engines

We’re on Yelp. Take a few minutes today and claim your company. Need help? Contact Josh (at NewThoughtMarketing dot com).