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Google My Business (GMB) and Instagram have made recent platform updates that are critical for you to know. As a multi-location marketer, you need to stay on top of the latest industry news and learn how to implement the updates into your localized marketing strategy. Every few weeks, SOCi is here to provide you with the industry news and explain why it’s essential for your localized marketing efforts. To kick things off, we’ll get started with Google widening its business messaging tools. 

Google Widens Its Business Messaging Tools From Search and Maps

Google has announced that it will allow more businesses to engage with their consumers through direct messages in Google Maps and GMB listings. This new platform update gives companies the ability to add a messaging option into their customer service platforms like GMB listings and Google Maps. 

While GMB messaging has been around for some businesses already, this new platform update allows all businesses to utilize the messaging feature in their GMB listings. This will enable your multi-location business to communicate with your consumers more effectively. If a consumer has a question about your business hours, business location, or even just about your product in general, they can send your business a message directly through the messaging option. Your business will then have the ability to respond to the consumer directly, answering any questions they may have. 

Google is also adding smart replies and customizable features similar to a chatbot. These features allow your business to quickly set-up response flows for specific questions or messages your business receives. This will enable consumers to get the answers to crucial questions they have without having to wait on a personalized response. If your multi-location business isn’t already utilizing direct messaging through Google, it’s time to start and take your localized marketing strategy to the next level. 

Google My Business (GMB) Pulls Data From Facebook

This industry news update is short but essential! Recent research confirms that GMB is pulling data from Facebook. The research found that some of the information provided in Google listings was pulled from Facebook. For instance, in a specific case, the owner’s name was cited as being pulled from Facebook, along with other details provided in the services section of the GMB listing. The moral of this update is that while your multi-location business should be consistently updating its local listings, you should also be updating the information on your business’s local Facebook pages. If GMB is pulling information on Facebook, your Facebook information must be kept up-to-date to avoid consumer confusion. Data from our 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report found that maintaining a strong presence on Facebook, Yelp, and GMB is the key to a successful localized marketing strategy. Consistency in presence, care, and engagement across all three can have a “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” effect.


Instagram Shifts Requirements for Commerce Eligibility 

Recently, Instagram announced that it would be changing its requirements for commerce eligibility. Commerce eligibility determines whether or not a business will be able to sell items through Instagram and Facebook as well. This new feature will allow any eligible business or business with one eligible product to use shopping features and tags on Instagram. Shopping tags allow your multi-location business to tag different items for sale on your story or in your posts that will take the consumer directly to the page where they can buy the item. These tags will drive more consumers to your site, therefore, resulting in more sales. 

Facebook has also announced that similar commerce eligibility will be coming soon. These new requirements will allow businesses to sell their products through Facebook and Instagram more efficiently, aligning with the digitally-focused world we’re living in amid the current pandemic. If your business isn’t already utilizing the shopping features on Facebook and Instagram, it’s time to get started. You don’t want your multi-location business to miss out on extra sales opportunities, especially with so many companies being affected by COVID-19. 

Now that you have all of the most recent industry trends, you can begin strengthening your localized marketing strategy and incorporating the latest platform updates. For more help managing your localized marketing strategy across business locations and tips on how to improve your localized marketing efforts, SOCi is here for you! Request a demo today to learn how SOCi can help your multi-location business manage reviews, search, social, and ads across multiple business locations! 

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