Our latest industry news update is here, and we have a lot to cover. Multiple local search and social platforms have made recent updates to their channels, and we’re here to break it down for you. As a multi-location marketer, staying on top of the latest marketing trends is essential to maintaining a winning localized marketing strategy. Rather than sifting through all of the industry news yourself, our blog will highlight what you need to know and how you can incorporate it into your localized marketing efforts. 

Google My Business’s Messaging Update

Google My Business has developed a recent update to its messaging that will benefit multi-location marketers. A few years ago, Google My Business took away the ability to operate its messaging feature outside of the app. This was seen as a step backward by many multi-location marketers, but GMB is making changes that will soon change this! In the coming months, consumers will be able to find Business Messages in even more places than before, which includes within apps and during calls. 

GMB has decided to make this change because they realize that the way consumers communicate has changed. Seventy-five percent of consumers now prefer to engage with a brand over private messaging channels instead of traditional channels. Consumers must have the option to communicate with businesses through a messaging option, rather than having to pick up the phone and call them. When GMB does release this new messaging feature that will be available for all consumers, your multi-location business must be ready! 

The direct messaging feature allows consumers to engage with your business through a real customer service representative or “smart responses.” These “smart responses” will provide automated responses to specific questions that your consumers may have. Multi-location businesses will also have the opportunity to optimize their messaging, creating a seamless experience for consumers. 

Instagram Launches New Shopping Page

Instagram has also launched a new feature that many multi-location businesses are excited about! Instagram Shop is an in-app shopping experience that allows users to discover products and brands that they might like. Instagram Shop features different brands and products based on the accounts the user follows, along with other collections that are featured by Instagram’s shop team. Since many consumers are spending time at home, this new feature gives users another way to find brands that they love, and do their shopping while staying at home – through a social platform users love. 

You may be wondering how this will impact your multi-location business. If your business doesn’t already have a solid Instagram foundation, now is the time to start. If you want your business to be featured on Instagram Shops. While in-store traffic might be slightly decreased right now as a result of COVID-19, you can boost your sales through Instagram. 

If your multi-location business is looking for ways to manage all of your local social media accounts across platforms, SOCi is here to help! Through our Content Manager, SOCi can assist your multi-location business in managing social media accounts, including Instagram, across 100s or 1,000s of business locations. If you’re not already utilizing Instagram to its fullest potential, now is the time to start! 

Facebook Releases Facebook Pay 

Facebook also revealed a new feature, Facebook Pay, which will provide a secure way for Facebook users to make payments and provide donations in the app. Facebook Pay will offer an extra layer of security for users, allowing them to set up a PIN before making a transaction, and will also include anti-fraud monitoring. 

This new feature again highlights that many platforms are making it easier for consumers to shop online. In our now digitally-focused world, there are more opportunities than ever to purchase everything they need from the comfort of their home. Is your multi-location business updating your localized marketing strategy to stay aligned with this shift? 

New Features for Yelp For Business 

Yelp realizes that in many ways, things are changing at a daily pace for businesses across the nation, that is why they have rolled out a few new features to allow companies to highlight their changes. As mentioned in a recent industry news blog, Yelp released a feature that enables businesses to post specific COVID-19 related updates. 

In addition to those updates, Yelp has also created a new attribute where businesses can select if they are black-owned and operated. With so much momentum surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, many consumers are looking to support black-owned businesses, and this feature allows them to find those businesses more efficiently. If your business is black-owned and you’d like to change your status on Yelp, log into your business profile, click edit next to “known for,” and select yes beside black-owned. 

Finally, Yelp has also created a new feature that allows you to add your digital menu to your Yelp profile. Many restaurants are not giving out menus amid the current pandemic, so this new feature will enable you to direct users to your Yelp profile to find the menu. Restaurants can also create scannable QR codes that allow consumers to scan the code and then be directed to the menu. 

These new Yelp features are crucial for your multi-location business to be aware of if you’re not already. As mentioned previously, the more up to date your local search and social platforms are, the stronger your localized marketing strategy. If you’re looking for more ways to improve your localized marketing strategy, request a demo from SOCi today! In addition to providing you with the latest industry news, SOCi is a centralized platform that allows you to manage all of your search, social, reviews, ads, and more. It’s a great opportunity to consolidate your localized marketing solutions into one platform, saving your multi-location business both time and money in the long run!  

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