Google just launched a “status update” field that merchants can use to send real-time messages to their profile page (i.e. Place Pages) in Google Maps. Accessible from the Local Business Center dashboard (which means it’s only available to businesses who have claimed their listing), you can read more about it on the Google LatLong blog.
Holding a special event today? Want to post a coupon for 5-7pm tonight? Have a new product in stock? You can now get the word out by posting to your Place Page directly from your Local Business Center dashboard. Once you’ve logged in and are on your business’ dashboard, post an update and it will go live on your Place Page in just a few minutes. To see an example, check out the Place Page for Mission Mountain Winery which posted to introduce a new wine.
What it means: After Facebook, Google is now having real-time envy (or is that Twitter envy?). This is a small addition but it tells a lot about the product direction. As you can see in the example, attribution for the message is showing it’s coming “From the owner”. Expect Google to allow users to give that kind of real-time feedback in the future, hereby improving on user ratings/reviews. You can also expect broadcast bridges to other social networks.
If I was in Facebook’s or Twitter’s shoes, I would move quickly and enter the structured local business listings world by offering pre-populated fan pages (for Facebook) and merchant profiles (for Twitter). This would simplify the entry for SMEs and basically enable a “claim your profile” function on those two social networks. It also would simplify the mass structuring of real-time content (which is very valuable).
5 thoughts on “Google "Twitterizes" its Merchant Profile Pages”
Great insight and advice for twitter and facebook. The reality is that a small percentage of businesses will take advantage of claiming their profile, but making it easy by pre-populating the data will add to the number substantially.
Engagement leads to commerce.
the more businesses engaged in promoting themselves for free, the more will be willing to pay for the privilege.
By accepting real-time feeds from businesses, Google further engages them in the process of promoting themselves.
It also pushes other local business listing sites to add more value to maintain their customer base.
There is also a solid business for promotion and reputation management and tweeting for businesses.
It’s never been easier to be an independent small business promotion machine.