Google has spent a very long time establishing themselves as a household name. there is barely a household in the country that doesn’t use Google products in some way – from their phones to their web browser. They’ve become the swiss army knife of technology. But one of their most successful ventures has to be Google maps. With this little app, billions of people find their way around, research destinations and find out about new businesses every day. And because Google really want users to stay within one app (to make life easier for you), they are now adding a new feature to their faithful old workhorse – a messaging feature within Google Maps.

 

How Do you Use Messages In Google Maps?

Imagine you’re on a bus on your way to a friends house for a birthday party. You’ve been asked to collect the cake from a bakery on your way in, but you don’t know if it’s ready yet. You’re on a bus, so calling them isn’t practical. So instead, you open up Google Maps and find the location of their business (which you needed to do anyway as you weren’t sure where it was). You click on the business listing, and you see a little messaging icon next to the usual ‘call’ and ‘email’ icons. From there you can type out your message and receive a reply from the business, letting you know the cake is ready when you are. This nifty little feature allows you to communicate with the business instantly, in real time.

 

How Will It Work For Businesses?

For businesses, this new feature is just as simple to use. First, you need to enable the messages function, otherwise no one will be able to message you. Once you’ve done that, new messages received through Google Maps will appear within your Google My Business app (so if you don’t have that, we suggest you download it) on the dashboard. You can see all of your waiting messages, reply and communicate with customers and prospects directly. This feature is a fantastic way to generate new interest and capture some of the prospects that may have clicked away if they didn’t have a way to ask questions quickly. Of course, you will need to keep on top of your messages and not let them pile up, so make sure you have notifications enabled on the app!

 

What Does This Mean For Businesses?

Put simply, it means that if you have a Google Maps listing, you have a way to communicate with prospects and customers directly, in real time. It gives prospects the opportunity to ask question without having to make a phone call, so they can find out if you have the right shoe size for them without sitting on hold, and if your service could work for them without searching through your website. This can lead to more conversions, higher SEO rankings and more importantly, more conversations with prospective customers. You can set up the messaging system to send an automated response if you know you won’t be able to respond for a set period of time, including details of who they can contact instead. It’s yet another feature that helps connect businesses with customers, and that can only be a good thing.

 

As a business owner, you’re probably already trying to work with Google to get your business found online. To do that, the more information you can give Google and the more features you use, the better. Google Maps new messaging feature is just another in a whole host of features across the Google Maps and Google My Business platform that can help you grow online, if you use them effectively. If you’re not sure how to do that, all you need to do is hire an expert to help you. At Ad-Extra, we help businesses get to the top of Google via Google advertising and Google My Business features. To find out more about how we can help, just get in touch with the team today.