How to Use Yelp to Build Connections

Yelp is a social media network that utilizes reviews from its users to recommend businesses for others to visit. It is one of my favorite platforms because of how low-key is it as a networking tool. Either if you are a beginner foodie or a serious epicurean, Yelp is the platform that you need to be on with its program, Yelp Elite.

What’s Yelp Elite?

Yelp Elite is a membership group available to users on Yelp as the best of the best users. These users are active on the platform and give a sense of trust with their recognized badge reviews. One of the amazing things about this program is the availability of events exclusively to Yelp Elite squad members. As a third year member, I can tell you have been to amazing events in person and online, which gave me a leg up in my local area for knowing cool spots to meet other people.

Start Here

Here is a step by step break down of how to get on Yelp Elite like I did in two months.

  1. Sign up for Yelp and build your profile with as much information as you can. For example, Yelp has quirky profile questions that you can answer.
    • Utilize these with good answers to showcase that you have a stand out profile.
    • Be selective with the photograph that you use for the profile. Have a goal of how you want to portray yourself on the platform.
  2. Make a list of your favorite restaurants, businesses and places that you have been to over the years. This will be your starting list of reviews to create before you go out for more information.
    • Break it down to doing at least one to two reviews a week to showcase that you are active on the platform. If you have photography of the place in your phone, utilize it but make sure it is as current as possible!
  3. Find the Community Manager of your Yelp community and add them as a friend. They are the people to co-sign your profile, and make you a Yelp Elite member.
  4. Nominate yourself for Yelp Elite or find a friend on the platform to do so. The community manager of Atlanta nominated me for the squad, and I was into the program quickly.
  5. After you get accepted, utilize the Elite newsletter and page to sign up for their private events and deals. Make sure you continue to do at least two reviews every month to get invited back next year.


How to scope out if the business is a great one to go to on Yelp:

  1. Check the price currency and the star rating. These are the starting points to any good restaurant or business to see the quality service. Also, check to see if the place was recommended by any Yelp Elite member.
  2. Check the photography of the business. Is it something that you would find yourself in without Yelp or social media guiding you? Only you can answer that question.
  3. Lastly, check the reviewers themselves. What type of reviewer are they? Are they someone who often goes to places that are local or chains? Are they are an active user on Yelp? This platform can be used to your benefit.

Lastly, I cannot forget safety on this platform. I recommend to post your reviews after you leave the business along with photography. Please be sure to select carefully of what photography you chose to post on the platform. I do not utilize the check in option often on the platform for safety reasons.