Customer review site Yelp.com announced a new “Call to Action” feature yesterday that will allow businesses to promote deals or specific actions on their Yelp profiles. Consumers visiting a business’s Yelp profile can click on a button and be taken to the business’s web site to claim the offer or perform the specified action.
The new feature “is designed to increase the revenue potential Yelp provides to business owners, with the ability to promote a specific action they’d like consumers to take,” wrote Vivek Patel, the company’s vice president of business products on Yelp’s blog. The types of promotions or actions that a business might promote on its Yelp profile can vary greatly, “be it scheduling an appointment, printing a coupon, buying tickets to see ‘N Sync (still holding out hope for a reunion tour!), or any other action a business wants to promote,” he added.
Ticketmaster has already begun to use the new feature to promote concert tickets at local entertainment venues, the company said. The new promotions will appear on both desktop and mobile versions of Yelp.
More social media sites and apps that provide business listings or profiles are starting to give those businesses more control over how their online profiles are used. I recently wrote about how Foursquare is rolling out a feature that lets local merchants promote themselves when customers search for nearby businesses. It’s also a chance for the sites and apps, of course, to generate more advertising revenue from both large and small businesses and take advantage of the of flash-sale phenomenon that originated started with sites like Groupon and LivingSocial.
For Yelp, the new feature may also be a way to engender more goodwill among business owners. I recently noted that many business owners are upset with how Yelp filters and displays customer reviews.
Read more small business news.