The Posts function, allowing users to add content directly to their entry in search results, has been up and running for some time. It was first available as candidate cards only to political candidates in 2016 ahead of the elections and then later, for a small number of business types such as museums and sports teams. Posts have now been migrated to Google My Business and made available to all small businesses via this interface.
Why should your small business be interested in this feature?
Google data shows that 82% of consumers turn to Google to find local businesses. The search engine provides a wealth of data to satisfy that need and Google My Business is the portal through which local businesses can give local consumers the information they need to make an informed decision. It provides a platform for small businesses to showcase promotions and special offers, as well as providing images, video and other useful information about the business itself.
Google says it’s this that has driven it to make Posts available via Google My Business. It describes Posts as a natural evolution of its mission to help consumers find out more about local businesses, saying that the function gives small business owners, “an easy way to help attract new customers and build relationships with the customers you already have.”
Posts will appear on Google search and on Maps, making them very relevant for small business and physical storefronts looking to capture local leads.
Posts open up new channels for engagement
As the name suggests, a Post takes a similar format to a blog post, in that it is a piece of content or short update that can be posted with images and text. In its official announcement, Google pitches Posts as more sales-driven than a standard blog post would usually be, making it very much an extension of a Google My Business listing. Posts can be up to 300 words long, with a title, image, button and you can set it as an event if appropriate.
You can use Posts in a number of ways to engage with potential customers looking for local products and services:
- To share special offers such as local discounts, free shipping and money off vouchers
- To announce new arrivals and draw attention to best sellers or limited edition products
- To promote special events such as in-store tastings, special appearances, seasonal occasions, signings by local or national celebrities or product launches
- Connect customers directly with a specific action such as a newsletter subscription, a reservation or a request for a call back
How to get started
If you already have a Google My Business listing, you can get started using Posts right away. Simply log in and you’ll see ‘Posts’ as the second option on the left-hand menu bar.
A pop up will appear, with you now able to upload a picture, write your post, make it an event if required and add a button such as buy now or find out more.
If you don’t have a Google My Business account set up, create one here then follow the steps above to publish your first Post.