Google announced that its newest service “Google My Business” is replacing “Google Places.” And while it may seem annoying that Google keeps changing the name of things, the new features that come with Google My Business are actually pretty cool and very useful. Here’s a quick overview of some of the features that I predict will be popular.
1. Add a virtual tour of your business. Do you have a funky boutique shop, an uber relaxing spa, or radiant restaurant decor? Show us! Trust me, we want to see what’s on the inside. Only bummer is that you have to pay one of Google’s trusted photographers to come out and take the photos so this isn’t a DIY project.
2. Record and post a behind the scenes tour. A virtual tour won’t necessarily capture all of the magic of your business so why not post a behind the scenes tour? Google suggests using Hangouts on Air from your laptop to broadcast a video recording of your business or your team in action. You’ll need a YouTube account, also a Google product, to produce a Hangouts on Air. On the bright side, since it’ll also be on YouTube, you can share it across other social networks or other marketing platforms after the fact. Check out the Hangouts on Air video I did as an example for this post.
3. It’s easier to navigate. In the top right hand corner, you’ll see a a box in between your page name and the notification symbol. That box holds the key to all of your page’s apps in one easy place. You can view reviews, insights, your Google+ page, your YouTube page and a few other apps right from that window. See the image to the left as an example of this menu. No more searching around to find where the in the heck those fabulous reviews went.
4. Promote events and special offers. This feature tends to be underutilized on Google+, but when you’re having a public event or promotion, why not broadcast it everywhere you can? It’s easy to do. Just click on the event tab in the status share box. A window will pop up that will let you fill out all of the info.
In a nutshell, Google My Business, is a user-friendly upgrade that gives businesses the ability to manage all of their Google business apps in one place. You can even share status updates from Google My Business! It’s really a much more simple way of using many of the tools that Google has to offer businesses.