How to put a village on the map!

How to put a village on the map!

Introduction

Whilst working from Brazil I decided to take the opportunity to work with the local business owners to get them ‘onto Google Maps’.

Some already had a Google Page created, some had been created for them (by Google) but they were not ‘claimed’ and others simply didn’t know how.

During three main stages, we worked together, and I kept notes and created process documents (me being a bit geeky like that).

The aim of this case study is to give you a guide for you to not only set up one business at a time, but to bring them together and support them telling the world their story as part of a neighborhood.

Some days I feel like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVfloNAZiLw

Stages

The three main stages covered during this process are:

  • Localize
  • Optimize
  • Socialize

Below is an overview, but if you click you will see a consultant’s resource for each area to help if you want to undertake this as a project in your area.

Localize

This, quite simply means getting their page created and claimed.

Here is a document with instructions. (able to be translated into a Local language)

If you are looking to undertake supporting e.g. 20+ businesses at a time, then you will need to gather this information. (spreadsheet)
But be warned, the easiest way will be for people to simply ‘do it themselves’ and add you as a manager; otherwise you will have to a) invite them as a manager, b) have the accept (some people are not that email savvy), c) transfer ownership from you to them.

Optimize

Once people have a Google+ Page, you will want to take it a step further.

Full instructions here. (able to be translated into a Local language)

This includes ‘verifying’ their page, including office hours and information, linking to their website, having an attractive cover photos and profile picture.
It also informs people how to ‘make a few posts’ and how to add in a circle; and how to claim a custom URL.

The document I put together for this phase is here.
Note: there will be ongoing edits and additions.
It is a Google document instead of a PDF as it will allow you to switch languages more easily!

Socialize

This phase primarily gives people access to ‘the right people’ to add in e.g. a local data set, and also instructs on the role of +ing other people’s content, commenting and even sharing relatable posts too.

Here is a link with full instructions (coming end November)

The creation of a ‘Neighborhood’ page – Surf Maresias

This enables the testing to happen when e.g. the data (a filtered circle of people from the main city nearby: Sao Paulo) was added in.
The selection was people with a follower count of 1000-1 million and active within 1 month.

From a selection of around 1200 profiles, it was filtered to active within the last month, ‘blueheads’ (i.e. no profile picture) were remove, and it became 420 people.

The aim of this page is to curate relevant content from the other pages.

You will find it building up over time here.

Next…

Creating a ‘Neighborhood’ in Google Map Maker

This was an expected next step that doesn’t really need the local businesses to get involved once they have a Page created.

Using Google Maps you can create a neighborhood map, and differentiate the types of local business by ‘layer’.
As you can see below, for instance, I have gathered ‘Restaurants’ in one layer, ‘Hotels and Pousadas’ in another, ‘Amenities’ in another.
The greatest thing here is how you can share a link with your team and enable them to add to the map too.

This will be added to as the other pages get verified i.e. on the map.

Asking people for reviews

As we move into the Socialize stage, I want to add a very interesting concept in this village/neighborhood.

In many businesses, in restaurants they give 10% of revenue from the shifts to the staff, which could create a positive feedback look.

When I asked a buddy called Antonio about it, he said “They are my partners”.

So, in this way, we could consider that the people there are invested in asking for reviews, and so they can have more people visit.

And what is the importance of reviews? More than any evidence they will give better Search results, we see they are important for ‘Social Proof’ i.e. people will choose your restaurant or hotel etc, over an other based on the rating given.
This will be interesting to watch/compare how the businesses approach gaining reviews – including, the idea of asking people in existing online communities e.g. their Facebook Page followers, for people to leave a review…

Want to know more about creating a thriving neighborhood? Well, get in touch and ask how we can help!