Do you know WHY you are posting to certain social media platforms? Are you posting to the right platforms to find your audience?
Those questions are getting answers in our latest blog series, which continues this week by diving into one you might even consider a social media platform: Google My Business.
Google My Business Basics and Features
Google My Business is a free tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google. This includes the information that appears in the Search and Map areas of Google.
Google launched Google My Business in 2014 as the company replaced a couple of other products that had been around for nearly a decade – Google Places for Business and Google Local.
Businesses are able to use Google My Business to post photos, updates to hours, manage their reputation through reviews, and communicate with customers (and potential customers). It can also be used for other updates (such as blog posts), offers and events.
Why You Should Consider Google My Business
The only exception to not being able to have a Google My Business listing is if you don’t have a physical address for your business. Unless you fall under this category or have a P.O. Box as your main address, it’s crucial for you to have a Google My Business account.
Think of Google My Business as a modern-day Yellow Pages. For example, if you flip through a phone book looking for a plumber, who are you most likely to call: one with a nice, friendly ad that has a little more information about the business, or one with just a phone number?
Most likely, it will be the one that looks more inviting, right?
Unlike the Yellow Pages, though, you can change that information that customers or potential customers see on Google My Business. You can go from that very basic listing to an enhanced listing, FOR FREE.
You are in control of the information that people see through photos or posts. You are in control of updating your locations and hours. If someone leaves you a negative review, you can quickly respond to resolve the issue before it gets out of hand.
Benefits of Google My Business Posts
One of the more underutilized areas of Google is posting through Google My Business.Using the posting feature allows you to bring more awareness about your business and it’s services as well as drive more traffic to your website. Google recommends posting to GMB at least once a week. This can include:
- General information such as a new product or highlighting your areas of expertise or service
- Upcoming events
- Business Updates
Most likely, you’ve created content for other social media platforms – take the best of that content and post it to Google, too.
You will want to be sure your content drives traffic back to your website. By driving back to your website, you will send positive signals to Google that your website is relevant and important. This is huge for local SEO (search engine optimization), meaning that your Google ranking will improve above your competition and other nearby businesses.
Go Where the People Are
If this feels like “one more thing” you have to do, recent studies show that customers are 2.7 times more likely to consider your business “reputable” if you’ve completed your Google My Business listing. They’re also 70% more likely to visit your business.
Another study shows that verified businesses on Google are twice as likely to earn trust from their customers.
And then there are the astounding numbers about the usage of Google itself:
- Google has nearly 92% of the market share for search engines
- Google processes nearly 100,000 searches per second every day (that’s more than 8.5 billion a day)
If you want to find new customers, you have to go where they are spending their time … and that place is Google.
The Pitfalls of Google My Business
Unlike some other social media platforms, there aren’t too many pitfalls with Google My Business other than time. Expect to spend about a minimum of 10-15 minutes a week to check your profile, respond to reviews and post an update. Overall, it’s not a major commitment.
Negative reviews can get quickly out of hand if multiple customers have a bad experience. As we mentioned, though, you can quickly reply to those messages and stay ahead of reviews getting out of hand.
You do not want to let a negative review go without a response for more than one business day, so make sure you quickly reply to those. You also will want to reply to positive reviews to say “thank you” to your customers.
More From this Series
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The Social Ginger is ready to help your business with Google My Business and all of your social media needs. Set up a FREE Discovery Call today to see how we can partner with you.