Yelp, Google+ and Your Dealership

By: Michael Sos, Director, Prime and Digital Strategy

Yelp can be leveraged to exhibit your dealership’s commitment to all customers

Google+We’ll be honest- Yelp can be a tricky platform to navigate as a business. Local businesses are more dramatically impacted by negative reviews than are large corporations. However, there are a variety of steps you can take to present your business in the best light.

First, it is important to join the conversation to celebrate your customers’ support and time. If your dealership receives a review, you have the option of either responding publicly or sending a private message. Public messages, when carefully-thought out and written in a professional tone, can provide valuable information to future customers. Ultimately, negative reviews will help you understand customer concerns and provide better service in the future. While best-known for its reviews, Yelp can be used to tell your dealership’s unique story by engaging customers with special offers, announcements, and business information. The key to success within all forms of social reputation management is careful monitoring and frequent updating.

HubSpot outlines a few of their best practices to leverage your business’s Yelp page here.

Google+ is an underestimated player in social reputation management

While fewer consumers are searching for businesses via Google+, the feature is integrated within the general Google search platform. As a result, Google+ businesses pages and reviews show up alongside search results. For example, shown below is the search term “car dealerships”, filtered to the Norfolk, VA region. As you can see, the averaged star rating is highlighted below the dealership name.


It is helpful to think of Google+ as a gateway into your dealership, a first impression. Your main goal in updating your Google+ page should be to establish credibility and provide a clear path for customers to access the valuable information you have on your website, blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

There are many opportunities to add value to your brand and engage both existing and potential customers through shared content. Respond to comments on your page and join circles relevant to your dealership. Monitoring and managing negative reviews on Google+ is key. On the listings page, you will find the option to “respond publicly as the owner”. Posting a constructive and professional response exhibits to visitors that you value their feedback and hope to address concerns.

Social Media Examiner outlines some of their best Google+ practices here.

How are you using Google+ and Yelp within your dealership?