I encourage my clients to create a place page on many of the popular “location based sites”. Yelp, Google Places, Foursquare and Bing or Yahoo Local are some of the more popular ones. Facebook allows check-ins if you have entered your business address in your profile.
By encouraging your walk-in customers to “check-in” you win. Not only is it a way to tally people that have been here, but the people to whom you are connected see that you are at a location and could decide to check the place out.
One thing about having a profile on some of the location sites is the fact that people can write a review. A bad thing is if someone has written a review about your business on a site like Yelp and you don’t see it because Yelp isn’t in your radar. What is even worse is if you aren’t monitoring sites like Yelp and the only review out there is a negative one. How do think that will affect your business?
This article from Crain’s Chicago Business offers suggestions about handling those negative reviews. Ultimately, no one wins if you engage in an on-line “argument”. I don’t suggest trying to remove the comments, but, instead offer to resolve any concerns by phone or “off-line”. By monitoring sites regularly, you will be able to address client concerns rapidly showing potential customers that you care and are responsive. Often, your loyal customers will come to your defense without you having to say a word.