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How franchises can tap the power of Google Places

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Andre Kay is the CEO and CMO for Sociallybuzz, which provides social media management, marketing, fan page management, online event digital marketing, and social media consultation services. Sociallybuzz is designed to help companies, brands and businesses with simple or advanced social media development and marketing, while delivering businesses and brands the greatest number of options in how they define and reach their relevant audiences. Kay also is the co-founder and vice president of Go Media Marketing, which was one of the first companies to introduce interactive texting technology to the U.S. Congress.

Sociallybuzz integrates Google Places into clients’ social media strategies along with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Why should franchises not overlook Google Places?

Google Places is one the most powerful social platforms available. When a customer finds your business on Google Places, it’s because they were searching for you, your products, your services or even your competitor. According to an official statement by Google, “More of your customers search for your business on Google than anywhere else, so it’s important to make sure your business listing is up to date and can be easily found on”

What are some of the features of Google Places that help franchises extend their brands and connect with customers?

Just as with Facebook and Twitter where you can publish a status message or post, you can also do that on Google Places by sharing an update (specials, discounts, etc.) on your Place Page. Anyone that finds your Places Page while searching in Google will also see your updated post. Second, owners can post a public response to reviews and feedback by Google users. This is a great way to reward loyal customers and quickly rectify any negative reviews. Another great feature right within the Google Places dashboard is Google Boost, which helps local franchises easily advertise within Google Search and Google Maps.

What are the best practices that franchises should keep in mind when using this tool?

Never underestimate how effective Google Places can be with connecting franchises with targeted consumers that are actually searching for them or their competitors. Also:

  • Keeping information updated (phone numbers, photos, addresses, etc.)
  • Consistently monitoring reviews and feedback
  • Track your place’s activities (impressions, click to website, click for directions, etc.)

What’s a great example of a franchise that uses Google Places?

Yes, a Domino’s Pizza franchise owner, (also one of our clients). We used Google Places to run numerous campaigns as well as community specials. We would post weekly Resident Appreciation specials on Google Places. Then we would track to see what keywords were being used to find each specific location, as well as the regions by ZIP code. The data collected made it much easier for us to target the right people in the right cities. Those were the cities and customers that mattered the most for the growth of each location.

Image via Google

Is your restaurant using Google Places? Share your best practices in the comments.