Last week we learned that 95% of diners use their smartphones prior to dining out. Many of these people are seeking out restaurant referrals. Websites like Yelp and Urbanspoon offer reviews from strangers, Facebook and Twitter offer recommendations from friends, and services like the ZOMM Personal Concierge offer their own expertise.
But how do you choose which referral source to trust? Here is a breakdown of the pro’s and con’s of each:
1. User review sites, like Yelp and Urbanspoon, can be a great resource when you’re thinking of exploring a specific spot you’ve never been and need a quick thumb’s up… or thumb’s down. The top 10 lists can be deceiving if you don’t read the criteria carefully and you must consider paid content. Yes, these websites are in business to make money and establishments that pay up benefit from greater control over their reviews.
2. Social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc., are great referral resources because your trusted friends are making the recommendations. According to one survey, marketers themselves trust Facebook more for referrals and product reviews than both Yelp and traditional advertising. But this source is not without its limitations—the recommendations are unorganized, random, and what if you’re out of town?
3. The ZOMM Personal Concierge, like social media recommendations from friends, is trustworthy. You’re paying for the referrals—instead of the referrals paying for you. This convenient resource is loyal to you and only you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the world. You call your concierge, describe your wishes, and the ZOMM Personal Concierge will not only come up with a recommendation, but make the reservation as well.
Which resource do you trust most for referrals?