Yelp Yapped. Hey Twitter would You do This? $YELP $FB $YELP #socialmedia

OK so for some very early Christmas shopping I’m thinking maybe my son and so-in-law would like some nice leather jackets. Pretty cool present I’m thinking.

Get on the iPhone mobile Yelp (NYSE:YELP) app and punch it up. Get a listing of leather retailers close and far away from me. Something to work with. Not bad.

Then they serve up the recommendation and want to take me to a burritos place. Like food burritos. I’m not hungry. SWM looking for shopping solutions should not be interrupted with rather stupid recommendations. This did not enhance Yelp shareholder wealth.

Have not used Yelp for over a week now. Know what I’m saying.

However in the past week I have eaten but not burritos and still open to looking at leather jackets.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Out there somewhere somehow a men’s leather jacket salesman wants to meet with me. Can social media bring us together?  Sizes would be medium for one and XXL for the other. Must be very cool. Probably black.

Yelp Still Disappoints. When Oh When Will Get There? $YELP

Image representing Yelp as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) released quarterly results and disappointed the market. Admittedly it’s not hard to disappoint the market these days if you are a social media proposition. Management keeps pointing out they are opening up in new markets. Madison Wisconsin being one of them. Well that’s nice but Madison Wisconsin will not create shareholder wealth. Apologies to Madison nothing personal.

They are opening up in markets such as Finland, Norway and Sweden bringing markets up to 90. The rapid market expansion sounds exciting but how do we measure growth in existing markets? How do we measure costs and investment in new markets. global domination is nice but it must be achieved at an acceptable price.

The analysis needs to mimic how retail and restaurants are tracked. Same store sales are critical. Yelp will need to dramatically improve its narrative and explain same markets over one year. There may be more profit in concentrating on key rich markets such as say restaurants in New York and Las Vegas. There may be more profit in attracting specific spend categories which are high margin as say travelling business people.

Local business has a very short hand to mouth where is the cash mentality. Yelp needs to demonstrate how it can deliver new spending clients. A restaurant with an established reputation and difficult to get reservations does not need Yelp. Yelp needs to find a way to drive customers to new customer experiences who still have excess capacity.

Not sure that taking a step back and letting the social media energy just swirl around will benefit Yelp. Yet this is exactly what they are doing. Social Media needs to be harnessed  to cash flow. Otherwise why bother? Otherwise why bother buying the stock?

This all makes sense with a 67% revenue growth rate. The 67% masks a lot of hard cold business realities.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective

Yelp Long Hard Slog Local is Not Easy $YELP

Image representing Yelp as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) came out with earnings and as a new company of course prints red ink. No surprise. It also more or less promises to be near break even very soon. Still no surprise. Investors need to understand local is a long hard tough slog. You need critical masses in each market. If you are good in San Francisco it does not help someone in Miami. If anything if the experiences are not similar customers will become suspicious. Then you have the mediocrity factor. When too many people are raving about tha same thing it does not matter any more. You might even lose the cool.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.