Amid news that nearly 20 per cent of Yelp reviews are “suspicious” (and Yelp’s reponse that it automatically filters those ones out), it’s easy to wonder how to write an actually useful review. The Consumerist shares a few tips to better craft your review.
Photo by Michael Dorausch
The general rule with sites such as Yelp is to take the general sentiment of the reviews with the understanding that the strangely glowing ones are probably staff or management, while the particularly nasty and vitriolic ones are probably self-entitled people who like to hear themselves complain. Look for trends, not specific examples. When you're crafting a Yelp review, your best bet is to try to avoid both extremes.
The Consumerist suggests you make sure you're being completely honest in your review -- without resorting to hyperbole like "Best/Worst EVER", since those can trigger Yelp's automatic filters (not to mention most people's BS filters). If you do want to highlight a specific experience, make sure to include details such as the exact food you enjoyed, or why you had a bad experience. Craft your review in a tone that's genuinely helpful and informative to a potential reader, not like someone penning a complaint or a compliment to an unseen manager:
In the case of a positive write-up, don't just trot out some exclamation points and vague terms like "amazing" and "yummy." And when you're angry, don't just use the availability of Yelp to vent your frustration. Provide information that would be of use to a potential customer. What items did you eat? What in particular did you enjoy about them? At what point did the evening turn sour? How was the service, cleanliness, atmosphere? Simply saying a place has "f-ing rad pizza!" is of no real use to anyone but the pizzeria.
Another useful point the Consumerist raises: If you're really angry and had a bad experience, sleep on it. Your rage should have dulled by the morning, and you'll be able to more clearly articulate why you're upset in a way that will help future customers avoid the same experience. Hit the link below for more review writing tips, and check out our guide to writing genuinely helpful online reivews for more suggestions.