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Industry News: Local Search and Social Platforms Ramp Up Updates for Multi-Location Businesses


It’s time for another Industry News blog! We’re bringing you the latest updates from some of the top local search and social platforms. In the world of multi-location marketing, staying ahead of recent trends can help establish your business as an industry leader. Similarly, consumers will notice if your multi-location business is up to date on all the industry trends for top-of-mind awareness when it comes time to make a purchasing decision.


Google My Business Announces Years in Business Feature


Kicking off the industry news is Google My Business (GMB). GMB recently launched Years in Business, a feature that means just what it says.  The label allows you to display the date your business first opened or will open in your GMB profile’s local listings.


To add an open date, log into your GMB profile, open the location you’d like to manage, click info and add. This feature is essential for multi-location businesses because it provides consumers with more information about your business. If your multi-location business has its opening date listed on your GMB profile and a competitor doesn’t, it will give your business more credibility. Similarly, you will be able to showcase the longevity of your business, building trust among your consumers. Consumers also expect convenience and will notice when your multi-location business puts in the time and effort to keep local listings current and accurate.


While managing local listings across all of your business locations can seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be.  SOCi Listings allows your multi-location business to sync, update, and maintain accurate and consistent listings across 35+ direct integrations to leading directories, including GMB, Facebook, Apple Maps, Foursquare, Waze, and Yelp. With a tool like SOCi Listings, your multi-location business can easily display your open date and other aspects of your local listings profiles.




Instagram Releases Professional Dashboard for Businesses


If your multi-location business has Instagram accounts, you can now access the platform’s new professional dashboard. This centralized location allows your multi-location business to:

  • Track your performance: discover metrics and analytics on how your Instagram content is performing.
  • Grow your business: access new tools to grow your business and increase ROI.
  • Stay informed: take advantage of educational resources,  including tips and tricks for optimizing your account and inspirational content.



As you can see, the dashboard provides various tools that can assist your business in strengthening your Instagram presence. It’s essential to keep improving your local social media existence, and this dashboard allows you to do so. You can access the dashboard from the top of your account profile pages. Instagram also noted that they would continue to add to this dashboard, so be prepared for more updates on this!


Facebook Shares New Conversions API


It wouldn’t be an industry news blog without an update from Facebook. Recently, there have been numerous privacy changes to the platform, making it more difficult for businesses to track events on their websites via a pixel. To help solve this issue, Facebook has revealed a new Conversions API. This Conversions API allows you to share data directly from your server with Ads Manager, establishing a more reliable connection.


The tool is built to target, optimize, and measure your Facebook campaigns’ performance as the pixel loses some of its effectiveness. The data exchanged through the Conversions API will provide your multi-location business with information about your website’s interactions, which will help inform your advertising campaigns. If your multi-location business has ad campaigns running, this new feature is something to keep in mind.


If you don’t already have ad campaigns launched, you might reconsider. While ads are an extra cost, the ROI potential may make it a worthwhile investment. Don’t let the idea of running ad campaigns across all of your business locations hold you back. SOCi’s Ad PLUS enables you to instantly create and deploy highly customized, targeted local ads across all of your business locations. Take your localized marketing efforts to the next level with a competitive ad strategy.



Yelp Reveals Restaurant Product Features to Address Industry Shifts


This update is for those in the restaurant industry! Restaurants have continually adjusted their services and marketing strategies throughout the pandemic. Yelp has added a few new features to help restaurants adjust to these industry shifts.  For instance, the online review site changed its waitlist feature to now include to-go orders. The expanded waitlist feature, previously only available for dine-in, allows hostesses to meet the significant increases in demand for curbside and take-out amid COVID-19.


Yelp also aims to elevate the consumer experience at restaurants, adding an “on the menu” section that highlights a restaurant’s popular dishes with direct links to the menu. Convenience creates a competitive edge,  and this new feature provides it.


Finally, Yelp has added a “guest profiles” feature that allows businesses to add information, such as a birthday or anniversary, under the guest profile section. Hosts can also include details like dietary restrictions and seating preferences. Once the guest has visited the restaurant, their information will autofill the next time they visit.


If your multi-location business is in the restaurant industry and not already leveraging these new features, it’s time to start. They will save your business time and effort, allowing you to invest those resources in other areas of your localized marketing strategy.


Instagram Is Testing Stories in Vertical Feeds 


Instagram developers are starting to test stories in vertical feeds. While this new feature is still in development, it’s something to keep an eye on. Vertical Instagram stories would allow users to swipe up to view another story rather than swipe left. This change could lead to further updates, including Instagram stories’ integration into the platform’s Explore page.


If your multi-location business isn’t already testing Instagram stories’ effectiveness, it’s time to start. Instagram is one of the top social platforms for various age groups. Posting on Instagram and utilizing stories can increase your brand’s visibility and provide more opportunities to reach your target audience.


We’ve covered a lot of industry news today but now is when the actual work begins. It’s time to start adding these platform updates and new features into your localized marketing strategy. Think of all you could accomplish if you stay proactive with your localized marketing efforts. You don’t have to do it alone, though. SOCi is here to help. SOCi is the all-in-one platform for your localized marketing needs and the central command for multi-location marketers. To learn how SOCi can better serve your multi-location business in creating a winning localized marketing strategy, request a demo today!