Digital Marketing

Google Maps Introduces ‘Follow’ Feature For Businesses

The search engine pioneer has introduced a ‘Follow’ feature for Businesses in Google Maps. With this feature, Google Maps has been steadily evolving into a well-rounded social platform rather than just a channel to find locations or get directions.

Facebook’s growing clout among advertisers has been a source of concern for many leading players. One such giant is google. It has been following Facebook’s steps in various areas of business pages display and format. In the latest news, we see that the search engine pioneer has introduced a ‘Follow’ feature for Businesses in Google Maps.

With this feature, Google Maps has been steadily evolving into a well-rounded social platform rather than just a channel to find locations or get directions. Some of the recent additions include group trip planning, ETA sharing, and music controls. Today we will take a look at how the ‘Follow’ features adds value to businesses across the globe.

What is this feature about?

When users click on the ‘follow’ button for a business, they can track the company more effectively. Users get to see an expanded coverage about a brand – for e.g. the latest news, upcoming events, ongoing deals and other discounts. Users can view this in the ‘For You’ tab on the Google Maps site.

To take on rivals in effective business advertising it has now started to display an in-depth view of the business such as offers, deals, and events. Google has a definite source for taking this information. It gets this intel from Google My Business posts. These small updates of around 300 words present in Google Business Listing help the search engine to curate content that is worthy of displaying to people who are following a brand.

Companies can also utilise Google Maps to reach more leads before they are actually open to the public. They can showcase their opening date which will begin displaying up to three months before the opening date.

This profile will show the opening date in orange text. It will be positioned just below the business name. Users get the option to save the business to their lists. They can also view all the regular information such as address, website, photos and contact details. This helps build sufficient buzz around the store and improves your pre-launch marketing efficacy.

Though the feature has been in the beta phase and was rolled out among a select set of brands, the official announcement came in only last week. The first OS preference will obviously be Android with a provision for extending to other OS’s later on.

The brand new “Follow” feature is going for a phase-wise deployment strategy. In the initial phase, it is targeting some 150 million places already present on Google Maps. The button will be shown to users to seek out these businesses and help them know the brand better with useful snippets of information.

The level of adoption by users in the future will give a glimpse of how effective the feature will be in helping Google overcome Facebook’s business page dominance. But Google is sure to keep evolving its ecosystem to make it more effective for brands and more impactful for users.

What are your thoughts about Google Maps’ new feature? Do write to us and let us know in the comment box below.

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