Ever since Google announced earlier this month that the sun was setting on Google+ for consumers, we've all been waiting to see what the search engine giant would do next to fill the hole left by the defunct social platform.
And now we have our answer.
Building on the Google Posts feature that debuted over a year ago, Google’s now making it easier for customers to stay up-to-date with these postings from their favorite local businesses. On October 24, Google introduced a new “Follow” button for the Google Maps app, and this seemingly minor change means big things for Google My Business (GMB) users.
How Does the Follow Button Work?
The next time you launch your Google Maps app, keep on the lookout for a new “Follow” button on business listings. Even better, try testing it out! If you click "Follow," you'll be automatically notified whenever that business publishes a new Google Post directly from the “For You” tab. Follow all your favorites, and you'll never miss another update, special offer, or event.
While you're there, take a closer look at the “For You” tab, which is also a relatively new addition to the app. There, you'll not only see posts from your followed businesses, but also suggestions based on your search history and preferences.
Unfortunately, depending on your location and operating system, you might not be able to access these new features (well, at least not yet). While only currently available on Android, it’s likely that Google will be rolling out these changes on iOS in the months to come. Likewise, they’ve already confirmed that they’ll be expanding support for more countries in the future.
How Will It Affect Local Business Owners?
If you’ve been slow to adopt Google Posts into your social media marketing strategy, now is the time to change that! (There’s no time to wait until New Year’s for this resolution.)
Before this update, users needed to search for your business to see your latest post, which, for many business owners, made the feature much less desirable. After all, what's the point of posting regularly if no one sees it?
However, with the rollout of the Follow button, GMB posts just got much more attractive from a marketing standpoint. Now, there's a reason for businesses to want to create new and interesting content to keep followers engaged. That's why now is the time to start experimenting with how your post notifications will appear in the "For You" tab and how they look in comparison to your competitors.
It's worth keeping an eye out for more updates in the future as Google continues expand its offering for GMB users. With these latest changes, it's clear that the company is looking to revolutionize business social media, and although we can't know for sure what their next big move will be, one thing is certain. You'll definitely want to be at the forefront of this revolution.