Google has been on a consolidation spree as of late, compressing everything from privacy policies to products and services. Google Places now knows the feeling as it was recently merged into Google+, the company’s social network that has been the beneficiary of numerous integrations. This is actually great for local businesses, so let’s take a look at how restaurants can dig in and take advantage.
Get Going on Google+
Google is trying to connect the web, and lately, it is starting to look like Google+ is the component it wants to link it all together. Now that the merger is complete, restaurants looking to maximize their local visibility will have the best opportunity to do so through Google’s social network. The journey starts with a Google+ page, your ticket to all the marketing opportunities this platform makes available. This is the tool you need to make your presence felt, so build your page, get out there, and get active. With everything being connected, the comments, reviews, and other activity will probably be good for your overall presence and visibility.
Spread the Cheer
Are satisfied customers raving about your restaurant? If so, then push those reviews through your Google+ page. Don’t hesitate to let new customers know they can share their experiences here, either. Reviews are essential on the local scene and with technology from Zagat, which Google recently acquired, now thrown into the mix, they will likely play an even bigger role. We see reviews helping restaurants in one of two ways: increasing their rankings in the local search results, or increasing their click-through rates. Who knows? You could see huge improvements in both areas.
Connect the Dots
The restaurant business is one of the most competitive industries in existence. Social media offers an opportunity to create the awareness and interest needed to gain an edge over the opposition. And while Google+ is shaping up to be the key that connects Google’s web world, restaurants can take full advantage of the Local integration by promoting their presence through other social channels as well. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites can be just as valuable to your overall efforts. Always remember that when it comes to marketing, the more channels you are able to work, the more you increase your ability to drive good results.
Exciting Times for Local Marketers
Some are under belief that the merger of Google Places and Google+ is just another way for the search giant to push its social network down our throats. While that might have something to do with it, this looks to be a good move. It is another sign that social networking is becoming more important to local marketers. For restaurants, it is another avenue for exposure, so we recommend grabbing this bull by the horns and making the most of the opportunities.
Author bio: Abel Velazquez is a writer, online marketing expert, and advocate for email marketing software company, Benchmark Email.