There’s a new type of post in town — and if your business isn’t taking advantage of it, you’re missing out.
We know, we know. You’re probably thinking, “ANOTHER social media platform to generate content for?” But Google My Business posts are a bit different than your average social media posts (it’s probably important to also note that Google+ is shutting down, which you can read more about here). Rather than just reach potential customers, these posts can also give you a boost when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) by creating more links to your site. The posts also give businesses a way to increase their website traffic and continue to grow their overall web presence. In order to create these posts, you must have a Google My Business account, which is free and simple to set up!
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know before diving into Google My Business posts.
1. Once published, the posts show in the knowledge graph section when someone searches for your business (see below). Depending on whether you include a call-to-action button, users can click to learn more or purchase items. Photos will also display here, and the optimal photo size for posts is 750px x 750px with the image subject in the center since different devices crop in different ways.
2. There are numerous types of posts you can make. The options Google My Business currently offers include a general What’s New post, events, offers and products. Choosing the type of post that best fits your intentions is important. For example, What’s New may be a recent blog post you want to highlight, while offers may be a promotion you are currently running. Once the type of post is chosen, Google makes it easy to input all the necessary information and include any links users may need.
3. Your posts will only be visible in the knowledge graph for one week. This is because Google is aiming to keep content fresh. However, this doesn’t mean your posts are gone forever after one week. Users can still see them by viewing a post history.
4. Posts are limited to 1,500 characters. This is around 300 words, sometimes less. Yes, that sounds pretty short. But when users are looking to find information within posts, they want short and digestible. You can always link to a blog post or something else with longer content if a user wishes to learn more and keep reading.
5. You currently cannot schedule Google My Business posts. If you’re an avid user of programs like HootSuite or Buffer, you’ll be bummed to learn GMB is not included as a social media platform. You also cannot schedule GMB posts directly from the GMB site, as they must be published immediately. This makes content planning a little more time-consuming, but still worth it.
Even if you’re still not quite convinced about using GMB posts, we encourage you to at least get familiar with the process of creating a post and learning the ins-and-outs. Once you get a little more comfortable with the idea, the upsides to this type of post may just outweigh any hesitations you have.