Google My Business Messaging 101 (includes examples)
A Google My Business (GMB) profile can be a great way for businesses of any size to increase brand visibility and attract more customers.
This free marketing tool from Google can be used to improve your SEO and provide important information about your business to customers. However, Google My Business can also be used for direct communication with customers.
Google My Business has a messaging feature that is very similar to Facebook Messenger. Customers can easily access your brand and ask questions or raise concerns. And as data shows, customers can trust the brand more when they have the opportunity to easily connect with a company.
In this article, we'll cover the following:
- How Google My Business Messaging works – on desktop and mobile.
- The purpose of the Google My Business messaging function.
- Best Practices for GMB Messaging.
- Examples of welcome messages from Google My Business.
Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to plan your own strategy quickly and easily. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates and clients.
What is Google My Business Messaging?
In short, Google My Business Messaging is a free messenger tool that allows customers to connect with you in real time, right from your Google My Business listing.
This means customers can reach your business right from the search results without the hassle of clicking on your website and looking for an email address or phone number.
How does Google My Business Messaging work?
Think of GMB messaging as a form of instant messaging.
When you enable messaging, customers can see a Embassy Button in your GMB listing. The button is visible when your profile is shown in both Google Search and Google Maps.
With Google My Business Messaging, customers can get in touch with your company and send you a message at any time of the day.
If you haven't set up a GMB profile and haven't verified your business yet, follow our guide to get started with Google My Business.
Once you've set that up, read on to find out how to enable messaging and process messages on desktop and mobile.
Google My Business Messaging on the desktop
Google My Business started messaging in 2017, but at that time it was only available on mobile devices. Business owners had to respond to customer messages using the GMB app on their smartphone. However, that changed in February 2021.
Now, Google My Business Messaging is also available on the desktop. For business owners who prefer to manage their brand communications this way, this update makes it easier to manage online customer service.
Learn how to use Google My Business Messaging on the desktop.
Step 1: Sign in to your Google My Business profile
Go to Google My Business, click the Sign In button in the top right corner and follow the instructions.
Step 2: Navigate to Messages
click Announcements, then the settings (the gear icon).
Step 3: turn on messages
That's it – customers can now send their business messages right from your GMB listing.
Step 4: customize
Use customizations to make the messaging experience as simple and enjoyable as possible for customers.
Add a welcome message and make sure your notifications are turned on so you know when a customer is waiting for a response from you.
Google My Business messages on mobile devices
Learn how to use mobile messaging for Android and Apple devices.
Step 1: Download the app from Google Play or the App Store
Step 2: turn on messages
After logging in, navigate to Customers, then announcements, then choose turn on. This activates the function and makes the Embassy Button will appear in your listing.
Step 3: customize
Make sure to add a welcome message and turn on your notifications.
Did you know already?
Brands can now add GMB profiles to Hootsuite. This means that you can manage and respond to Google My Business messages along with all your other social media interactions in real time.
Learn more about this latest update here:
How to use the Google My Business messaging feature
Why should Google My Business Messaging be enabled at all? There are a few reasons this can be beneficial for both your business and your customers.
This is a great way to improve customer service
In the digital age, customers expect quick answers.
Google hides the Message button if a brand doesn't respond to a message within 24 hours. This encourages brands to prioritize customer service and respond quickly to inquiries.
This is a new way to introduce customers to your brand
Get to know your customers personally with Google My Business Messaging. Write a welcome message that reflects your brand's personality. Customers will see this message as soon as they click the Message button before entering their question.
In addition, face-to-face communication with customers is a great way to offer them an unforgettable brand experience.
This can be an efficient way to grow your business
Google My Business is experimenting with two new messaging buttons. The Request a Quote or Request a Booking button is available for selected companies in certain categories.
This type of button allows you to redirect customers to a form where they can request a quote or make a booking.
This functionality helps companies move customers down the sales funnel quickly and smoothly.
8 Google My Business Messaging Best Practices
Set up a welcome message
The welcome message is the first thing a customer sees when they click the Message button on their GMB profile.
Take this opportunity to thank them for contacting them and ask how you can help. You can also use your welcome message to let customers know how to contact you outside of business hours.
Try to reply within 24 hours
Try to reply to messages as soon as possible – within 24 hours if possible. If you don't, Google will likely remove the Message button from your listing.
This is because Google wants to make sure that customers don't associate the feature with an unpleasant customer experience. (However, if you lose the button, you know that you can turn it back on by turning it back on.)
Note that customers who search for your business and find your GMB listing will see how quickly you respond. One of several response time options will appear on your profile:
- Usually responds in a few minutes
- Usually responds in a few hours
- Usually responds in a day
- Usually responds in a few days
Turn on notifications
Make sure you see the new messages you get! Knowing when a customer is waiting for a response from you is the first step in meeting that 24 hour response time and keeping the GMB message button active on your profile.
Don't ignore spam
Yes it happens. Your business may receive messages that are spam or clearly posted by bots.
But don't just ignore them. Instead, mark them as spam or block senders to stop receiving spam in the future.
In order to do this:
- Go to announcements if you are logged into your GMB profile.
- Click the message you want to report.
- Choose Block / report spam and choose the option that makes sense.
Failure to report spam will affect the response time shown in your entry. In short, ignoring messages – including spam – has a negative impact on your response time.
Keep the conversation relevant
When a customer asks a question, they want an answer. Make sure you answer the customer's question or comment directly – they don't want to know about your new products when they ask for a refund!
Keep it short and sweet
Similarly, nobody wants a long, sprawling message from a business owner just wanting to know if their favorite flavored soda is back in stock. If a customer asks you a question using GMB messaging, keep the answer as short and clear as possible.
It's okay if the customer has additional questions. With GMB Messaging you can go back and forth – messaging is unlimited!
You can do more than just exchange text messages with Google My Business Messaging. You can also share photos with customers. Remember that sharing pictures can be an effective and efficient way to help a customer and answer their query.
If necessary, pick up the call from GMB
If you need to obtain sensitive information from the customer in order to answer a question, do not ask them to share it through Google My Business.
Asking for personal information like a credit card number, password, or address can compromise the customer's trust in your business. However, it is also viewed as a violation of GMB's messaging guidelines.
Bonus: Examples of welcome messages from Google My Business Messaging
Here are some examples of welcome messages from Google My Business Messaging.
Example 1: Google Merchandise Store
Why this works: This welcome message gets to the point. After greeting the customer, they will be asked to ask their question. This example shows that customers can use the messaging function to get answers to questions quickly and easily.
Example 2: Philly Phone Repair
Why this works: This welcome message would like to thank the customers for contacting us. Also, customers learn that they are likely to get a response to their query faster if they call the store. This sets customer expectations in terms of response time.
Example 3: Momentum Digital
Why this works: This company's welcome is short and sweet. In addition to greeting the customer, it asks how he can help. The specialty of the company is also highlighted!
When writing your own welcome message for Google My Business, keep the following in mind:
- Keep it short. It doesn't have to be more than a few sentences!
- Say hello, say hello, or thank them for getting in touch. You build a relationship and make it personal.
- Ask a direct question. This helps the customer focus their question so you can write a short answer that specifically addresses their query. It also shows that you want to help!
You can now connect with customers through Google My Business messaging. Remember: this is just another tool to get in direct contact with people who are interested in your offer. Keep the communication simple, direct, and friendly, and try to respond as quickly as possible. You can't go wrong!
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