City Organization Encourages Online Presence for Local Businesses

Local Business Review Site 5StarControl shines a light on recent efforts by a community group in Smithfield, North Carolina to promote the use of social media by local businesses.

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Smithfield, NC (PRWEB) September 26, 2012

5StarControl has applauded recent efforts by a community organization in Smithfield, North Carolina to get local businesses to use online social media sites to promote themselves.

Local Business Review Site 5StarControl wrote that local businesses will blossom due to the efforts of the Downtown Smithfield Development Co. to get local restaurants and business to increase their presence on sites such as Yelp and Urbanspoon as a method of local business online marketing.

Smithfield is a town of around 13,000 people in Johnston County, North Carolina. Located in the center of the state, and the county seat for Johnston, Smithfield is also not far from the major city of Raleigh. Smithfield is also located on Interstate 95, and as such relies on highway travelers for much of its commerce, as well as catering to visitors from the surrounding areas.

The Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation is a local community group in Smithfield that is dedicated to the development of the downtown area. They keep a directory of businesses in downtown Smithfield, as well as organize events, conduct real estate transactions, and sponsor community development projects. The director, Chris Johnson, recently emailed all the businesses in downtown Smithfield, urging them to go online and develop profiles on sites like Urbanspoon and Yelp.

Available online, as well as through mobile apps, Urbanspoon is a restaurant review and information service. The site hosts listings for tens of thousands of restaurants in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Ireland. Users are able to search for local restaurants, read and post reviews of them, and even make reservations at some restaurants for the same day.

One of the main competitors of Urbanspoon is Yelp, the local online review site that hosts over 78 million users a month. Yelp provides information about not only restaurants, but all manner of businesses in the user’s area. As with Urbanspoon, Yelp users can post information, pictures, and reviews of a local business. People can then use Yelp to search for highly-rated businesses that they wish to visit. Yelp has recently been incorporated as part of Apple Maps, increasing their exposure.

The move to have more Smithfield restaurants and business create online profiles and engage potential customers online is a marker of the importance of Yelp and Urbanspoon as a method of small business marketing. 5StarControl encourages its members to read the materials of media guru Frank Kern for addition information on these strategies. If successful, the move towards increased online exposure will help Smithfield businesses expand their customer base, and be more successful.

5StarControl is a newsletter on local business concepts regarding Yelp reputation.


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