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There’s a way to organically grow your reach, your engagement, and your traffic—all without spending a cent.

Yet, 79 percent of brands ignore it.

What is it? Publishing regularly on your Google Business Profile.

Now, you’re probably thinking ‘what the heck is that?’ or ‘since when could you post on Google?’.

So, let’s start with a bit of background.

A Google Business Profile is the listing that appears when your search for a brand on Google. You’ve almost certainly seen these listings before.

The Google Business Profiles for popular locations in London.

But, you might not know that businesses can publish posts on these profiles.

Posting regularly on your Google Business Profile helps grow your reach, your engagement, and your traffic.

And yet, 79 percent of brands don’t publish consistently.

We asked our customers why and they said: “it takes too much time”.

Today, that’s changing.

Introducing Google Business Profiles with Buffer

From today, you can draft, publish, and schedule Google Business Profile posts with Buffer.

Google Business Profiles comes available on the Buffer free plan. You can schedule up to 10 posts at any one time. Need more? All our paid plans let you schedule up to 2,000 posts.

But, before we get into how Google Business Posts can grow your brand, let’s first cover what they are.

Google Business posts are just like any other social post. Posts contain text, an image, and other information depending on what type of post you pick.

There are four types of posts:

What’s New: a standard text or image post to share an update.

Offer: similar to a What’s New post but with a Start and End date and the option to add a coupon code.

Event: similar to an Offer, but specifically for events.

Covid-19 update: identical to the What’s New post, but specifically for updates related to Covid-19.

The four types of Google Business posts

Making customers 50% more likely to buy

If you haven’t published on Google Business before, then you’re missing out.
There’s no shortage of evidence out there that proves publishing posts on Google Business Profiles is good for your business.

Google says keeping your profile up to date makes customers 50 percent more likely to make a purchase.
Google Business expert, Joy Hawkins, has run tests to show that posting consistently boosts your traffic, engagement, and reach.
And even though posts might not boost your rankings directly, they do drive traffic and visibility, both of which do ultimately help you rank higher.

Organic growth can be hard to crack, but Google Business posts offer a solution. Consistent posting helps you capture attention without spending a penny.

But how often should you post?

We suggest publishing at least once a week on your Google Business Profile for the following reasons:

After six months, posts disappear from a profile, so publish regularly to keep updates visible.
Google will only pull justifications from posts published within 60 days.
Only posts published within seven days appear on the Explore section of Google Maps.
79 percent of top brands on Google don’t publish regularly, so there’s an easy opportunity to stand out from your competition.

Only 1 out of 5 top profiles post regularly

Despite reams of reasons why brands should publish regularly, it appears that very few do.

While working on our integration, we analyzed 500 business profiles across five cities; London, Sydney, Delhi, Paris, and Toronto. (Note this research was inspired by Ben Fisher’s analysis. He focused his research in the USA so we purposefully chose cities outside of the States.)

After at looking 50 different sectors including mortgage providers, real estate agents, dentists, plumbers, injury lawyers, and more, we found that very few profiles posted regularly:

Only 20.4 percent had posted within the previous 30 days
Only 43 percent had posted in the last year

79.6 percent of profiles didn’t post regularly. This surprised all of us.
We wondered if it was one city region bringing down the average, so we broke it down.

But consistently, in cities across the globe, the majority of top profiles haven’t posted within the previous 30 days:

🇦🇺 Sydney = 73 percent of businesses didn’t post regularly 🇦
🇨🇦 Toronto = 78 percent of businesses didn’t post regularly
🇮🇳 Delhi = 79 percent of businesses didn’t post regularly
🇫🇷 Paris = 81 percent of businesses didn’t post regularly
🇬🇧 London = 87 percent of businesses didn’t post regularly

This got us thinking, perhaps these businesses simply didn’t use Google Business Profiles. Would that explain the lack of posting?

So, we took a look at whether these same businesses also respond to Google reviews.

Turns out they do. The vast majority of businesses, respond to Google reviews via their business profile.

🇮🇳 Delhi = 55 percent of businesses respond to Google reviews
🇬🇧 London = 61 percent of businesses respond to Google reviews
🇨🇦 Toronto = 66 percent of businesses respond to Google reviews
🇫🇷 Paris = 68 percent of businesses respond to Google reviews
🇦🇺 Sydney = 72 percent of businesses respond to Google reviews

On average, 64.4 percent of businesses use Google Business Profiles to respond to reviews, yet only 20.4 percent publish posts consistently.

Take a look at the raw data here.

So, how come so few businesses post?

We asked our customers.

Dawn Stanyon, President at Professionality Consulting, said it’s just too time-consuming to switch between multiple social channels. “I haven’t posted to Google Business Profiles as often because I have to go do it separately.”

Nial Philimore, Director at Imexpert, said the same, “sharing content across multiple social media channels and Google Business Profiles takes a lot of time.”

It’s not easy managing multiple different channels at once. Jumping between tabs to publish content across all of your networks just isn’t easy.

What’s more, publishing on Google is outside of a marketer’s typical workflow. Marketers are already swamped—publishing on social, sending out newsletters, and updating our own blogs—we don’t have time to manage something else.

That’s why we’ve built a Google integration.

Now you can draft, publish, and schedule posts to your Google Business Profile using Buffer.

Get started for free today, and start scheduling your posts on Google.

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