Google My Business is an extremely powerful tool for small and large businesses. And more and more it is becoming clear that Google My Business is a social media channel. Like all things Google though, they keep changing their minds on the name. At the time of this article, Google is beginning to use the title Google Business Profile and seems to be migrating away from GMB just as GMB was gaining widespread acceptance.
What is a Social Media Platform?
Social media platforms and channels are places where people interact with each other or companies. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, all do this, but they do it in different ways. Some focus on groups, some hide content for only followers and friends, others blast your content out to the entire world based on subject and hashtags.
Google My Business is a Social Media Platform
Google My Business focuses on local interaction between customers and businesses. Plus gives you a powerful leg up on the competition in search results.
The listing owner (or manager) can post photos, adjust your business information such as hours and location, and post information about special events. In short, you create and post content – Just like all the other accepted social media channels.
But where is the social aspect? The social features of GMB are that you and your customers interact. Customers can respond to your photos with a like (or flag), write reviews about your company, post their own photos, and even offer suggestions about changes to your business information. You can also respond to customer questions about the company.
The Downside of Google My Business Social Interaction
Besides the risk of a bad review, profile change suggestions are the biggest downside of Google My Business. Customers can suggest changes to your vital information (location, hours, etc), and even business category. And Google changes your listing to match the suggestions.
You can’t stop these changes, but you can change things back. Keeping a close watch on your listing is the best remedy for unauthorized changes.
Why Does Google My Business Matter?
Your Google My Business listing can literally get more views than your website!
Google My Business results lie just below the map on search results and, if they are the only relevant local result of a search, get the right sidebar all to themselves.
It’s like knowing the doorman at the best nightclub in town. When you have a Google My Business listing, they raise that velvet rope and let you right in without waiting in line with the other search results.