City Voter is a locally focused social network/media site that helps consumers find the best local businesses in their cities. Registered users can create their own profile, upload photos, add friends, and describe who they are and what they like. In addition to the usual social network profile features, users can bookmark, vote for, and write reviews about their favorite local businesses. Users can also start contests to find out about other local businesses that offer the products or services they are interested in. For example, someone could start a (voting) contest titled “Boston’s BEST restaurant wine LIST?“, other users can then vote for any business thats already on the list or add one that has not been mentioned. They can also leave comments to support their vote.
Here is a screen capture of CityVoter’s Miami landing page. Note: I was directed to the Miami guide page when I entered the cityvoter.com URL, since my IP address is in Miami Beach: (click to enlarge)
Local businesses can also create their own profile for free. Businesses can include all their locations, business hours, special promotions, etc. City Voter encourages businesses and consumers to upload pictures of business storefronts, products, interiors, etc. The site also makes excellent use of Google maps to show the location of a business or set of businesses. The following is a screen capture for the search “night life” in Miami beach. (click to enlarge)
In addition to adding basic business information. A business’s profile contains a map on the right side of the page displaying all of their locations. Beneath the map, you’ll find a list of all the locations, including address, phone number, and hours of operation. Below the business description, users will see what contests the business is currently competing in and any contests they have won. Just below that you will find user comments about the business. Finally, on the right side of the page below the location information, you will see a highlighted contests section, “people who think we’re cool” section, and a “recent votes for…” section. To give you a better idea of what a business profile looks like, I have included a screen capture of Boca Grande’s profile. I have eaten at Boca Grande many times while I was living in Boston and I can tell you they have awesome burritos.
City Voter currently covers the following cities (and surrounding areas): Boston, Washington D.C., Austin, Portland, Seattle, Miami, Raleigh-Durham, and Chicago. Businesses and franchises with locations in these cities can benefit from having a presence on City Voter. Some benefits include:
- General exposure for your business or franchise through your profile.
- City Voter users are opinion leaders. They are eager to interact with businesses and other people to share their opinions of and interactions with local businesses. This presents a great opportunity for businesses to get real-time consumer opinions about their business as a whole, specific product/service offerings, promotions, etc.
- City Voter also gives local businesses the ability to see what users are saying about their competitors.
- Lastly, City Voter provides a platform for local businesses to interact with individual customers. This aspect of the site allows small businesses and franchises to find out what they’re doing right or wrong, how to improve customer service, and what consumers would like to see in the future. Since City Voter (and similar sites) users are very vocal consumers; demonstrating your business’s focus on customer service and satisfaction to these users will go a long way in generating positive world of mouth in your community.
Are you a City Voter? If so, leave a comment telling us what you think of the site.