Google is giving its business customers a new way to reach their customers. The company is today starting the rollout of a revamped Google My Business mobile application for iOS and Android that will offer new tools for viewing customer info — including followers, reviews and messages — as well as a way to quickly create content to publish to their business profile on Google.
The changes arrive shortly after a recent update to Google Maps that introduced a new “Follow” button for tracking businesses, in order to stay informed about promotions, events and other news. The move made Google’s business profiles more of a direct competitor with Facebook Pages.
In the redesigned Google My Business app, a new “Customers” tab will centralize a business’s customers and their potential customers — like those who have chosen to follow the business, as noted above. Here, the business owner can track their reviews and view and respond to their messages.
To reach a business, customers are able to use a “Message” button on Google Maps or from Google Search to connect.
Before, businesses had to respond to these incoming messages from their device’s messaging platform. This is the first time they’ve been able to do so from within the Google My Business app. Messaging was also previously limited to the U.S., Canada, Brazil and India, but will now be available across most countries worldwide as of this week.
Also new is a “Posts” button that allows business owners a way to add content updates to their business profile on Google.
For example, a business may want to alert customers about an upcoming sale or promo, an event or new products they have for sale.
These are the sorts of updates they would have normally published elsewhere on social media, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, perhaps. Now, they’ll be encouraged to do the same on Google’s platform, too, because of the potential to reach a wide range of customers through Google Maps and Search.