Community Feed is Google's foray into newsfeed territory, with the feed focusing on highlighting both user-submitted and businesses’ own updates. We’ll break down what to expect from this feed & what it means for how customers interact with local businesses, then share 3 tips for how multi-location brands can best use it.
What is Google’s Community Feed?
Google touts its Community Feed as a way for people to keep up with changes and activities in their neighborhood. Found in the “Explore” tab of Google Maps, the feed is assembled by Google to highlight updates in particular area. As Google tells it, Community Feed should make it easier to discover “things to do and places to go.”
Scrolling the feed will show you a mix of the latest reviews, ratings, posts, and photos related to businesses or other Google listings in a specified area. The feed is a mix of posts from the managers of the Google listings, and updates from the community.
“If there’s anyone that can keep you in-the-know, it’s the Google Maps community. Every day, people submit more than 20 million contributions—including recommendations for their favorite spots, updates to business services, fresh reviews and ratings, photos, answers to other people’s questions, updated addresses and more.” - From Google’s announcement
The feed is customizable, and will adjust itself to fit the preferences you select in your Google profile. You can also “like” updates, and choose to follow businesses or community members.
What Community Feed means for multi-location brands
Besides giving people an idea of things to go and places to see, the Community Feed is also a way for businesses to connect with customers.
Though much of the info found in the Community Feed was previously available in other parts of Google Maps, Community Feed shines a new spotlight on these updates
Posts from merchants are now seen twice as much as they were seen before Community Feed
Community Feed’s launch comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still leaving many customers with questions or uncertainties about visiting local businesses
SEO expert Greg Gifford, when he joined us for our Let’s Talk Local series, said there are three things local customers are looking for in physical stores during COVID-19: proximity to home, store hygiene, and how much space is inside. The Community Feed helps bring more attention to businesses’ posts, so they can share their safety measures, offerings, or changes in operations.
3 tips for using Google Community Feed
Update frequently. Community Feed highlights the latest posts, so the more you post, the more likely you are to catch people’s attention.
Remind people of your offerings. Sharing posts or pictures about your stores’ offerings – even if there hasn’t been any recent changes – gives customers the info they need to feel comfortable coming in.
“Right now, it’s important to upload photos of your employees wearing masks, your customers wearing masks, your customers having social distancing in the store.” - SEO expert Greg Gifford, in our recent interview.
Respond to reviews. The Community Feed will shine a spotlight on your recent reviews. Make sure to respond to all of them, especially the negative ones – and here’s our guide for how to do that.
PinMeTo can help you stand out in the Community Feed by giving you a hub for posting to all of your Google listings and responding to reviews for all of your locations.