We get it. Keeping up with all of the digital marketing platforms feels like trying to run up the down escalator. And you’re afraid of missing a step and falling flat on your face.
At Heights Strategic Marketing, we’re partial to working smarter, not harder, and ensuring that our time and money are giving us the best ROI. From what we’ve seen, Google Business Profile (GBP) just might be the right move for you and your business.
If you’re looking to take advantage of a platform that plays by the same rules as Google (instead of learning how to beat another algorithm), here are some things to consider.
GBP posts need to be approved *before* they post
Unlike other social media where the motto is more “ask for forgiveness, not permission,” a GBP post goes through a review process before it goes live. This means that (a) there may be a time lapse before your post is seen and (b) you want to be diligent about avoiding anything Google has banned.
You can review Google Business Profiles post policy if you’re unclear, but many of the things listed are just good principles we’d encourage all the time. Think: avoid inappropriate content, avoid content that looks spammy, avoid content that doesn’t clearly connect to your business, etc.
But there are two things you might not have considered that will make a difference in the approval of your posts:
- Do not include a phone number. Attach the “Call Now” button instead.
- Do not use hashtags! Unlike other social platforms, hashtags do not help your posts, and they are often the reason your posts are rejected.
Choose the right type of GBP post to share (there are 4)
In many ways, GBP posts are just like any other social post. They contain text and an image or video. But depending on which of the 4 types you pick, there may be other elements.
- What’s New: a standard text or image post to share an update.
- Offer: similar to a What’s New post but have a start and end date and include the option to add a coupon code.
- Event: similar to an Offer, but specifically for events.
- Covid-19 update: identical to the What’s New post, but specifically for updates related to Covid-19.
The most effective posts tend to be Offer and Covid-19 posts. You might be thinking, “but we’re not in the business of promoting sales” or “we haven’t had a Covid-19 update in over a year.” If that’s you, keep reading.
Even if you don’t have an “offer” like a coupon or discount, you can still use Offer posts. Be sure to take advantage of visual elements like images, videos, or emojis to make these posts stand out.
Covid-19 posts may not be around for much longer and do have limited functionality (text only). But these posts end up first in the knowledge panel, meaning that they will stand out even more – and are especially great for “need to know now” information.
Treat your GBP posts more like ads than social media
GBP is different from other social media in terms of engagement. On most platforms, the things that are rewarded tend to be the trendiest, most clickbait type of content. But also, “how-to” posts and multi-image posts tend to do well.
For the most part, potential clients see your social media content once they go to that specific platform. There is a feed, where you hope your content stays close to the top long enough.
People that are seeing your GBP posts likely already know something about you or why they need you. They see your content after they have done a Google search. It’s not a random (or even curated) feed. It’s results-based.
This means that a better strategy for GBP is to think of your posts like coupons or magazine ads.
You only need 26 GPB posts — ever!
What does being consistent on GBP look like? How much time and energy does it take?
We suggest publishing on your GBP at least once a week, based on how long posts are likely to remain visible.
- Only posts published within seven days appear on the “Explore” section of Google Maps.
- Google will only pull “justifications*” from posts published within 60 days.
- After six months, posts disappear from a profile, so publish regularly to keep updates visible.
*Justifications are snippets of text that Google shows to help users “justify” why the business is showing up for their search query.
Let’s highlight this last point. After 6 months, posts disappear altogether. Meaning you can recycle content with no shame! If you go with our recommendation of posting 1x per week, that means you only need 26 posts TOTAL to keep your GBP fresh and consistent FOREVER.
Ok, ok. Maybe not forever. Things will change. You’ll run new promotions. You’ll offer new products or services. But even if you swap out 25% of your posts every 6 months, the pressure to be “always creating content” is significantly less!
That sounds like a win-win to us.
If you’d like help creating GBP posts, or setting up an optimized profile, set up a Messaging & Marketing Strategy Discovery Call with our team to learn more.