Last week we looked at the closing down of the Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). Today we’re focusing on social media platforms and their impact on local search.
Social Media Platforms Are Attracting More Local Searches
Over this past week we’ve been seeing a trend in local marketing – and that is social media and local search. It’s become increasingly clear that platforms like Instagram and TikTok are capturing the attention of younger local consumers. And with consumers faced with more choices than ever, it’s important to stay on top of these changing trends.
First up – the announcement from Instagram that they’re introducing a new map experience. Users can now search the map, move it around to find popular locations and businesses, and have a more immersive experience. This update certainly increases the discoverability of businesses, with hyperlocal search making it possible to capture consumers’ attention when they are close by. We’ve talked about hyperlocal search and its importance before.
Understand that this change is not something for the future – it’s happening right now. Google confirmed that Instagram and TikTok are the go-to sites for many young people looking to discover local businesses. (It’s also shocking when Google admits something like this, as you can imagine.)
Their visually-rich design is one reason pushing the appeal of these social platforms. We’ve talked previously about the importance of adding many high-quality images to your Google Business Profile (GBP). And as younger generations grow up this need is certainly likely to increase. So if your local business clients want to appeal to these younger people, images across all the channels – social and otherwise – will be very important.
As highlighted by Fast Company, when Gen Z consumers want a place to shop or eat, they are just as likely to browse TikTok and Instagram as Google Search and Maps. Consequently, if you want to reach the most consumers, hyperlocal SEO should not be restricted to Google alone.
Naturally, when it comes to promoting on hyperlocal social media platforms, Nextdoor simply can’t be ignored. One example is the annual Neighborhood Favorites Awards, allowing consumers to vote for local businesses that offer excellent customer service. Based on a community’s social proof, this increased awareness can translate to real-world customer visits. As a reminder, you can create listings on Nextdoor for your clients through our listing management platform with ease. Simply place the order through your partner dashboard and we’ll get the listing created for you.
User-Generated Content Drives the Local Search Experience
There’s one common theme running through the stories highlighted above – user-generated content (UGC).
User-generated content is more than just images, videos and posts. Reviews are another type of UGC, and believe it or not, some companies are actually getting extorted by way of reviews! A story like this exemplifies the importance of reviews for local businesses, showing exactly why they need to be encouraged, monitored and responded to.
So, what can you do since the demand for UGC is on the rise and gaining popularity? First, make it easy for users to create UGC – and monitor the results. Make sure you’re creating content that users want to engage with… especially on the Google Business Profile.
While the younger generations prefer TikTok and Instagram, plenty of people use Google Search and Google Maps to decide where they’re going next. And currently, a GBP remains one of the best uses of time and resources for building a strong local presence.
How to Improve Business Listings With the Google Authority Score
At Advice Local, we developed the Google Authority Score (GAS) to help you understand how a business’ Google Business Profile is performing in search results. GAS calculates brand mentions, engagement, influence velocity and more. To learn more about GAS and our other tools from Advice Local, request a demo today.