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Our industry news roundup is back! This week, we’re highlighting recent platform changes from Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, and Instagram. While platform updates seem to have steadied out since the beginning of COVID-19, it’s still crucial to keep an eye on the most relevant platforms and be aware of new releases. 


As a multi-location marketer, staying on top of the latest trends can help ensure your localized marketing efforts are up to par. If you’re missing out on some of the latest industry news, you could be missing out on opportunities for your multi-location business, and ultimately sales. 


Google My Business (GMB) Rolls Out An Online Operating Hours Features  

To kick things off, we’ll dive into GMB’s release of online operating hours. This new feature is relatively simple and can help many businesses with different online operating hours as a result of the pandemic. If your business also has differing hours for answering calls or responding to emails online, these hours could be highlighted in this new section. 


The online operating hours can be found in the “additional hours” section of your GMB profile and won’t impact the regular business hours that you already have listed in your profile. While this feature may not be relevant to every multi-location business, it can still be useful for many. If your company has varying online business hours, make sure that they are updated in your GMB profile. The more detailed information you have in your GMB profile, the more you can limit the number of questions consumers have about your local business. 


If your multi-location business needs additional assistance managing your GMB profiles across business locations, SOCi can help! SOCi’s listings solution allows your business to maintain accurate and consistent listings across business locations and help you dominate local search results every time. 


Google Adds Call Button to Knowledge Panel 

In addition to GMB adding an online operating hours feature, Google added a call button to its knowledge panel. This call button is available for both mobile and desktop users. While your multi-location business doesn’t need to go in and adjust your information for the call button to appear, it’s critical for your multi-location business to ensure that the information is updated and correct. 


This call button allows users to contact your business more directly, rather than click on the phone number and call it. This new feature further highlights how Google is trying to make the process as seamless as possible for its users and put consumers in direct contact with the businesses they are searching for. 


Instagram Introduces New Instagram Reels Feature 

Switching gears away from Google, we will look into a new feature that Instagram recently revealed, Instagram Reels. Instagram Reels is a new way for consumers and businesses to create short, entertaining videos on Instagram. Similar to Tik-Tok, Instagram Reels allows you to record and edit 15-second videos with audio, video, and other creative effects. 


If your multi-location business is looking for a new way to market to your target audiences, Instagram Reels may be worth a shot. The videos created through Instagram Reels can be shared on your newsfeed. Depending on the size of your business’s Instagram account following, it may be eligible to be highlighted in a new section on the Explore page. If your business keeps your Instagram account private, only your followers will be able to see your reels. 


For more information on how your business can get started with Instagram Reels, Instagram has you covered. If you’re looking for more general information on how your multi-location business can strengthen your localized social strategy, check out SOCi’s social solution


SOCi’s social solution empowers enterprise and local teams to publish localized content, manage content libraries, respond to social engagements, and analyze performance within one powerful platform. Now corporate, regional, and local teams can plan, share, and manage all aspects of their localized social strategy effortlessly.


Now that you are aware of the latest industry updates, it’s time to incorporate them into your localized marketing strategy. Staying on top of the latest trends can help your multi-location business win against the competition and gain more sales. For more information on how SOCi can help your business develop a winning localized marketing strategy, request a demo today.


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