Quick start guide to using Google My Business | Miratel Solutions

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5 Tips to get started with Google My Business (and why nonprofits should)

The newest tool from Google might become the best Google based solution yet for nonprofits looking to coordinate their Google+ profiles and business/personal Google profiles into a single home that allows the user to manage everything efficiently and most importantly help build awareness and engagement. A brand new tool called ‘Google My Business’ is now rolling out to the public and it aims to become the dashboard for small businesses and that can certainly include nonprofits as they’ve built a category for non profit organizations.

Google My Business isn’t a completely new product so much as an improved method to manage your organization within the Google world, if it achieves the objectives that it aims for it will provide you with easier to manage online profiles to communicate and connect with donors. For a brief overview or to get started please visit the main Google My Business site and for detailed FAQs they’ve set up a great resource here.

GoogleMyBusiness-nonprofit-fundraisingI’ve just begun to experiment with the new tool but from early indications it might eradicate much of the confusion that has hovered around Google Local, Google Places and other incarnations of Google tools aimed at smaller businesses and organizations. Best of all there seem to be new tools housed within that allow you to make the most of everything that Google offers. I’ll write a follow up piece in a month or two about this advance from Google after testing fully but wanted to provide some key starting points so you can get on board right away which I would recommend.

Provide detailed, useful organizational information via your profile

As you know Google works best for you if you provide as much detailed information as possible which better allows them to index your page across all channels and search configurations. When you build your profile page take the time to provide the most relevant information to your cause that you possibly can – from both your tagline and bio down to your contact information and titles. Do remember that all information added will in turn be displayed across every Google channel that you use. Profile descriptions are perhaps the most important step in determining whether a user will engage with you – so take your time to create deep, rich and specific content that include keywords that you work toward.

Community Build with Google+

Once your profile is built take advantage of Google’s built in ability to share information right from the dashboard. The equivalent of a Facebook status update or a tweet a status update helps you share news about your organization, special events, news, goals and much more just by clicking ‘share update’ on your dashboard.

Respond and Engage

Don’t forget to use the new profiles to promote and drive engagement with those who follow you here. For many Twitter or Facebook just aren’t their cup of tea and I think for some now and many more in the future (Google won’t give up on Google+ – mark my words) Google+ and in turn Google My Business will become the preferred channel for a certain percentage of your audience. Social Media is after all a social environment and in my mind the biggest goal should be donor engagement – allowing your audience to get first hand information from your organization about what’s new and exciting and how they can help. Encourage your audience to tell others about their experience at your most recent fundraising event, or share stories about how your nonprofit has helped them or people they know.

Make it Mobile

I know, it’s an extra step….but we can’t ignore the tides which draw more and more users to the mobile enviroment each month. Google My Business has promised a full range of iOS and Android apps (coming soon) so when they are launched be sure to take advantage.

Test and Measure

These are the very early days of Google My Business so it’s a great time to experiment with what works well and how best to drive engagement and help your donor audience find you in the first place. Use other avenues to share the news about your updated page such as your website, your blog, Facebook, Twitter, email signatures etc. and use the early stages to see what shared updates create the most feedback. Driving traffic to your site for more news and information is just one way Google My Business should definitely be able to help and a new tool to communicate is never a bad thing. Also great to see that a built-in ‘Insights’ has been added to the tool so that you can measure engagement and other analytics very specifically in a similar way that can via Facebook Insights. I’ve yet to give that a test drive yet but will let you know how it looks.

I’ve only touched on a handful of the features of what the new platform will allow you to to, you can also incorporate YouTube, create events, launch Google Hangouts and more. Remember, adding Google My Business doesn’t mean you have to learn a brand new tool – if you’re already using a Google+ profile most of what you see will already be familiar, if improved. The goal is a refined dashboard that makes it easier than ever for you to profile your organization, share information, engage with others and measure the impact.

If each of those prove easier than before via Google then Google My Business will be a huge success. Let’s hope that it lasts for a long time (as Google do sometimes tend to scrap things if they don’t takeoff) and that donors love what it offers.

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including PCI compliant inbound telephone fundraisingoutbound telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery fundraising servicesdonation processing and receipting and direct mail fundraising services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all our business decisions  and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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