Local Business Information Everywhere
For the last couple of years, making sure your Google Business Profile was up to date was the most important thing you could do as a physical retailer to give customers the information they need to visit your store. Having the right address and opening hours there was all you needed to do.
This is no longer the case however, with many new platforms adding business listings to their apps and websites. Just this last month, Instagram rolled out a new location exploration feature, and Twitter launched its ‘Location Spotlight’ globally.
Here are some of the main business listings to update now to get more in-store traffic:
My personal favourite, yet still relatively in its infancy, Apple listings are shown to the 23.3 million people using iPhones, iPads and Macs around the world.
Apple has been working hard to incorporate these listings in more than just their Apple Maps product. These listings are now also being suggested by Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, as well as appearing in search fields across Apple’s operating systems.
Managing your Apple listings
You can claim your listings by going to the Apple Business Register. This will require creating an Apple ID if you don’t have one, and then verifying you own the businesses you’re claiming through an automated phone call, or by uploading a document to prove ownership over the location.
Instagram has long had the ability to search for places (cities, points of interest and businesses) and tag pictures with that location or see pictures others have tagged with that location. A perfect way to determine if a town is suited for your next walking trip or if a shop looks worth browsing.
Recently, Instagram has been working to couple these places more tightly with the Instagram profiles of the businesses at these locations. You can now view a map of nearby businesses after tapping on a location tag, and see both user-generated content as well as content and information provided by the business. This is a great way to make sure your business is well-represented.
Managing your business on Instagram
In the Instagram app, make sure to convert your account to a Business account if you haven’t done so already. You’ll then be able to select the business category. If you select any type of store, you can add your address, and Instagram automatically connects this to relevant locations on the map.
Regular posts and encouraging your customers to post pictures tagging your business go a long way in organically growing your network.
Loved by many, hated by others, Twitter has long held a reputation for having created a new online universe with very little ties to the physical world.
Over the past year, Twitter has been focusing on re-establishing connections between users and businesses. Whilst features like promoting products are still in limited beta mode, a feature called ‘Location Spotlight’ is now available for all business accounts and allows you to add basic metadata to your profile like address and opening hours.
If you have an audience that spends time on Twitter, this is certainly helpful in getting the people you interact with online into your physical business.
It looks like the Twitter team is hard at work to expand this feature, so keep an eye out for further enhancements.
Managing your business on Twitter
First make sure to enable Twitter for Professionals for your account. Once you’ve done this, edit your profile and find the new add-ons that can be enabled based on the category you select for your Twitter account. Note that most of these new features get released on the iOS app first, so editing your profile through the iPhone app might give you the best experience.
If you were an avid social media user in the early 2010’s, you might remember Foursquare as the app you used to ‘check in’ at locations, keep your friends updated about where you were and provide recommendations.
Since then, like many social networking sites, Foursquare has undergone multiple iterations and is now primarily known as a location data provider for many other platforms. Business data from Foursquare is displayed in places like Facebook, Citymapper and many more. Making sure your Foursquare data is accurate can therefore have a big impact in terms of people finding your business.
Managing your business on Foursquare
Claim your business by searching for it on the Foursquare website. You'll then be able to verify you own the business by entering your phone number, after which you can make any changes you wish to make.