Local Listings: Strengthening Online Visibility In and Out of Crisis
As multi-location marketers, we all know that updated localized listings are a vital component of maintaining a robust localized marketing presence. As COVID-19 continues to impact the country, localized listings are more important than ever as they provide consumers with the local business information they need to make a purchase decision. However, localized listings can help your multi-location business strengthen its online visibility both in and out of a crisis.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover COVID-19’s impact on local listings, share which platforms are used the most for local listings, and explain how you can utilize local listings as your business begins to re-open. This is a tricky time for many multi-location businesses, but SOCi is here to help you through it.
COVID-19’s Impact on Local Listings
Both before and after COVID-19 took center stage around the world, local listings have been an essential part of local presence management. Now that COVID-19 has impacted consumers, it’s crucial to think about how this should affect your local listing strategy, and how you can use it to strengthen your multi-location business’s online visibility.
COVID-19 has impacted nearly all consumers in some way. Whether they have been laid-off or furloughed from their previous job, or are having to work overtime due to COVID-19 related circumstances, everyone has a story. Regardless of the situation, consumers, in general, have cut back on spending. Data from Uberall found that 42 percent of consumers say they will try to save over the next six months. Although consumers are trying to save more money overall, online spending has increased by 49 percent in March and April. With social distancing measures still in place, many consumers feel more comfortable making purchases online rather than visiting a store in person.
This is where local listings come in. If your multi-location business has updated local listings, consumers will be able to get all of the information they need about your business in a single online search. Has your business reduced its hours of operation? Are takeout and delivery an option at your local business? Make sure these questions, along with others, are answered in your local listings. Consumers are already overwhelmed during this pandemic, and you want to make sure that your business isn’t adding to their worries. If a consumer can’t get all of the information they need about your business through local listings, they will likely move on and use a competitor when making a purchase.
Top Platforms for Local Listings
When it comes to updating your local listings, you may be wondering which platforms you should spend your time on. Currently, GMB is the platform that is being utilized most by multi-location businesses when it comes to local listings, but Facebook and Yelp are also important.
All three platforms have made significant changes to accommodate the changes in the e-commerce world due to COVID-19. For instance, on Yelp, your multi-location business has the opportunity to:
- Add a COVID-19 banner to your Yelp page
- Include information about takeout and delivery options
- List virtual services offerings (online workout classes, cooking classes, etc.)
- Utilize Yelp Connect to connect with local consumers and businesses
The list above highlights the changes that Yelp has made to their local listings amid COVID-19, it’s important to note that GMB and Facebook have made many similar updates. GMB and Facebook both provide a channel for communication where you can share your updates, hours, and policies with consumers. If your multi-location business isn’t utilizing all of the new offers that these platforms offer, it’s time to start. You want to ensure that your business stays on top of the latest platform updates to stand out against the competition.
Updating Local Listings Amid Re-opening
As previously mentioned, there is certain information that consumers should be able to find on your local listings. However, there is still other information that consumers are craving during this time as well. For instance, as many multi-location businesses begin to re-open with precautions in place, they will want to know about those precautions. What measures is your multi-location business taking to keep consumers safe during this time? Whether it’s putting up sneeze guards or cleaning the counters after every use, this is information that your consumer will want to know.
While you may not be able to update this information on your local listings, you can use other options like Google Posts or posting on other social platforms to relay the information. You should also keep a close eye on Q&A features on local search platforms to answer any questions and help ease any worries consumers may have as we start to tip-toe back into stores and restaurants.
With the combination of keeping your local listings updated and providing consumers with information about your gradual re-opening, there’s a lot to keep in mind. That’s where SOCi can help!
SOCi Listings can help your multi-location business manage all of your local listings from a single platform. With SOCi Listings, your business can create more opportunities for brand engagement and be the next business local consumers fall in love with, across all locations. What are you waiting for? For more information on how SOCi Listings can help increase your multi-location business’s online visibility, request a demo today!