The Invisible Yet POWERFUL Social Media | Google My Business

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

What platform are you missing out on? Google My Business.

Google has a long list of social media platforms that have fallen by the wayside and been forgotten and discontinued. Even with this notorious reputation for launching and dumping projects, one has stood the test of time in a pretty powerful way. What platform are you missing out on? Google My Business.

“That’s not a social media,” you might say, but with some recent feature updates your business could benefit greatly from treating it like one!


Adam Jones  00:00

Today, we’re going to be talking about the forgotten social media of Google My Business! So today, we’re gonna be talking about the four ways to optimize Google My Business. And I know that that’s, in some ways a little bit of a hard thing. Google hasn’t really been successful in terms of their social media platforms. They’ve tried. They’ve tried- Google Circles is the other big one that they did for a while.

Preston Snyder  00:28

I legitimately don’t remember Circles at all

Adam Jones  00:30

Really? It was right after Google Buzz.

Preston Snyder  00:33

Like, I remember hearing about Google Buzz but I didn’t participate in it. Google Plus was the only thing that I had an interaction with, and even there it was, “I knew a person that used it, and the only reason was to contact that person with it.” And then afterwards, they even forgot that they participated.

Adam Jones  00:52

If you’ve been following us for a while, we’re kind of on train of how powerful Google My Business really is. It’s the number one thing you can do to get traffic to your business; to generate some local SEO traffic. It’s huge, it’s huge. And the first step to doing that, is to curate your photos. That is something that so many businesses miss out, in so many deep ways. And go ahead, check out our videos that we have talking about that! We have case studies, and literally, I get messages every day saying, “Oh, hey, you have 100,000 views on your photo; 100,000 views on this review, that photo, this business.” Everything that we engage with- not only as an agency where we manage these Google My Business pages, but then also as a Google Local Guide. And that’s kind of their interactive program for people who want to opt into doing more reviews, more deeper, thorough reviews, with more pictures, etc. There’s a lot there, just curating those photos.

Preston Snyder  01:49

And before you can even do photos at all, like, the most important takeaway, if you were to do something right now, is go make sure that your Google My Business listing’s claimed- that you own it. Because if there’s enough talk about your business, there will be something that’s created, and you need to make sure you have ownership of that. Once you do, you can go into your the platform and start getting nice photos of your product, your interior, your exterior- you have the ability for anybody searching, maybe it’s a pizza place near me, or coffee shop, or whatever it is, from start to finish, you have this ability to basically start a small tour, before anybody even gets to the location to make the appeal of, “You should pick me.” Personally, I’ve picked hotels this way, right? The rooms are nice. Like is there stuff to do? Because I’ve been wowed over by the presentation that they’ve done. So very, very important thing is to take the control.

Adam Jones  02:52

And you might be thinking to yourself, “Okay, Google My Business is the place where I get reviews- how’s this even social compared to Yelp?” I mean, Yelp is kind of garbage: they like to hide reviews, they like to try and force you to pay money, which I mean, Google is happy to take your money, by all means. They are happy to take your money, and you can even integrate your Google local listing/your Google My Business listing with your Google ad platform. And that is a really key thing. Because that gives you ad extensions that are really, really helpful when you’re pouring that money into your local market. That being said, though, it’s social in the way that you interact with your local guides, and your reviews with those users. And we do recommend going through and replying as much as you can, as diligently as you can.

Preston Snyder  03:38

And as as tactfully as you can. That’s, that’s actually important. The way you respond to your five star reviews is just as important as the way you respond to your one star reviews. If somebody has said something that’s deeply cutting, this is something where you need to breathe. This is not the time to impulse respond- having a very measured response that will make you look good, regardless of anybody else who’s investigating. But more often than not, if there’s someone with a local guide tag, somebody who’s been reviewing a bunch of other businesses, and Google views as, “You are in authority of the location,” you need to respond to them. And more often than not, if you get a four or five star review from somebody like that, it’s gold. For Google, that is gold.

Adam Jones  04:24

It also provides extra credence. Because as a reviewer, you take the extra time as a local guide to make these reviews: you’re taking additional photos, you’re trying to really actually bless the business if you’re in that mindset, or to provide valuable feedback and critique. Local Guides are not meant to be there to tear down a business. They’re there to help facilitate this process. And that’s the entire reason they exist in the beginning. When a person is looking at the reviews and they see, “Oh, this is the local guide.” There’s a little indication saying that this person is a certain level of guide. “Okay, well, if this person’s really a local, and they’re giving a two star review…” Wow, that’s more meaningful than even a one person review, sorry, a one star review, where they just trashed the business. Usually, we’re pretty good at filtering those out of like, “Oh, this person was probably just having a bad day, whatever.” But a two star review from a local guide; oh, that’s actually heavy, that that has some weight behind it. And so engaging with them is super, super powerful and impressive. Preston, have you seen the most recent feature that makes Google My Business social?

Preston Snyder  05:38

Not really. What’s the feature?

Adam Jones  05:42

So Google is now allowing people to go into your business page- their Google Maps, the profile, etc- and ask questions in a direct chat format. To be able to see, view, and respond to users that may be asking, “Hey, are you actually open on this holiday?” (If you didn’t mark it) Or, “Do you have these gluten free options? Do you have availability for dogs? Is this handicap accessible?” There’s a lot of different questions that we see, as managers of Google My Business pages that have come through where people are asking legitimate questions.

Preston Snyder  06:22

So then, as a business owner, what’s a scenario that we’d like to play out on something like that? So, say I am a bakery, I see a message, “Hey, do you have any gluten free options?” What’s the best way to respond then and utilize that platform?

Adam Jones  06:40

You treat it like Facebook messages, like on Messenger you can receive as a business, you can get those people doing queries. And you can just say, “Hey, actually, check out our website! We have the menu right there. But go ahead and give me a call if there’s something specific that you’re looking for. We’re more than happy to accommodate and assist you.” That’s that’s the big item, right? You’re giving them kind of an easy answer, but then, if you’re really serious- especially if it’s a bakery, you need 2-4 dozen items- you might not know that, but you still want to provide that opportunity, in case this is a very legitimate lead.

Preston Snyder  07:15

The fourth thing that makes it valuable is- from the ads perspective- the location extension. So if you’re in one place, localized, you have a single location, and you just want people to see an ad, either through Google Maps, or if they’re doing a search, your map listing polls. It is a valuable and powerful tool to have your adspend not only being like, “Okay, here’s a general ad, but you’re like within five minutes of this place, go check it out.” And part of that, too, is that within the ad, you also get the ability to curate a little bit on your ad platform. So if there are things that, in general, you’ve done on your Google My Business listing, it will pull those, but if there is specific ad content to curate kind of a paid/more premium experience for people to see that you’re specifically trying to attract- you have the ability to do that as well. It’s this very unique way that you can create almost two separate, curated experiences, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish for who.

Adam Jones  08:26

Now, that being said, the last three points don’t really make a huge difference if you’re not curating your photos, or video, or other information on your Google My Business listing. I’m only going to ask a question if the business looks legitimate. If I can see the storefront; if I can see a little bit of the inside to say, “Oh, actually, it does look like they may have some gluten free options. But I can’t quite see well enough, I’m going to message.” We have to be able to hook them at that first visual instance, and pull them in deeper through the Google platform. And if you have any questions on how to do that, feel free to reach out to us! We love doing this. This is what we love doing. It’s why we do it, because it actually helps and serves in the digital marketing sphere. (Like some other platforms don’t- namely Yelp, we’re not big fans. Yelp doesn’t help you nearly as much as this does.)

Preston Snyder  09:21

If you want more high quality content about Google My Business, be sure to like, subscribe, comment, ask us if you have any questions. Hit the bell, follow us on socials, and we will see you next time for Your Weekly Social!

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