Earlier this winter, Google added insight reports, tailored actionable buttons (think take-out ordering or hotel reservation booking) and bulk upload spreadsheet functions to its Google My Business features. Though all are especially helpful to restaurants, the latter is a great tool for businesses with more than one location (and, thus, more than one listing on Google) as it enables page owners to collect information for all locations to one central location. For results-driven business owners, the addition of insight reports means they will have greater access to digital marketing analytics, while the other changes make it easier for customers viewing a profile to take action directly from the listing.
With the changing landscape of social media management, and owing to the fact that Google+ never quite became the platform people expected, the behemoth company has once again adapted its platform to make it possible for companies to utilize Google My Business pages in a similar fashion to traditional social media. Using the new Google My Business API (Application Programming Interface), business owners and their marketing departments can manage their Google My Business account in a more efficient manner.
With the latest updates, page owners will now be able to:
- Edit location information for one or more pages
- Read and respond to customer reviews from a centralized area
- Update menu details, such as pricing, photos and descriptions for one or more locations
- Create and update relevant social media-style posts
- Add additional business photos as applicable
- Incorporate a Call-to-Action button, such as “Learn More,” “Reserve,” “Sign Up,” “Buy” and “Get Offer”
In a similar fashion to Facebook, users now have the option to create an “event” – which can be used by restaurants to advertise a holiday special or for destinations to promote a local fundraiser, among an endless assortment of occasions.
Though these new features have already proven to be powerful marketing tools, to be effective, social media pages and listings like Google My Business must be managed properly to ensure positive results. One thing for established companies to consider is the need to migrate Google+ pages to the Google My Business social media page functions.
Taking Care of Your Social Media Profiles
The exposure of your listing works both ways. Though online exposure can draw more attention to your company in a positive way, errors or poor customer service often have a serious impact on your online reputation. Since social media is so, well… social, a business that doesn’t respond to negative feedback on its profile could face consequences from a broader audience of people looking to stir the pot. While many business owners may simply opt to ignore the naysayers, a disproportionate number of negative reviews on one or more social media pages will affect a company’s ranking on a results page on search engines like Google or Bing.
To take advantage of the new Google My Business features, one must regularly check up on these consumer comments and reviews. It is also important to create and manage a social media schedule that reflects the tone of your business. For example, a children’s activity center would interact with its target audience in a different manner than a fine dining establishment. And, it’s important to accurately reflect the atmosphere of your business.
Further, customers want to know that your business is active and responsive. Lack of social media maintenance will affect how search engines view your listing, so it’s important to manage social media pages like Google My Business effectively.
Ask an Expert
Though we’ve outlined the basic feature updates of the new Google My Business API, it takes a some skills and effort to fully and properly integrate some of the more in-depth functions. This includes:
- Setting up subscriptions to push notifications for new customer reviews
- Viewing insights for locations
- Providing additional attributes for locations (like a hotel’s amenities or a restaurant’s menu URL)
- Inviting and removing managers
- Managing service-area businesses
The Public Relations and Marketing Group was established 15 years ago, at a time when social media was first coming into fruition. PRMG’s team of social media managers continually learn and grow their skills to keep ahead of changes in the industry and can help you develop your Google My Business page. We can also help to redevelop your existing Google+ and Google My Business pages to take full advantage of the latest updates.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly at 631-207-1057, ext. 107.