How Do Local Guides Affect Your Business?
If you weren’t aware, a couple years ago, Google started its Local Guides program. Since then, they’ve been expanding on this concept making it more important than ever for businesses to sit up and take notice!
Local Guides are avid reviewers. As they continue to rate, review, and more, they gain points and levels that up their status and provide them with benefits.
All you need to become a Local Guide is a valid Google account, be at least 18 years of age, and have signed up to participate in the program.
Points and Levels
We’ll start by giving you a quick run-down of the points and levels browsers gain access to when they become Local Guides.
There are currently 10 levels, with badges starting at level 4. These badges appear beside a profile photo giving them that extra street cred when other users see them reviewing a location. Points can be earned for:
Responding to Q&As
There are a lot of perks that get added as a user levels up, such as early access to new Google products and features, the ability to promote meet-ups on a local calendar, and even free Google Drive storage. While Google currently has only made the perks for level 1-5 available, they will be announcing 6-10 in the near future.
What it Means for You
So, what perks directly affect your business? We’ll start off with the obvious—the visual cue. Browser both aware and unaware of what Local Guides are, will notice reviewers with a little golden badge and “Local Guide” title next to their name before any other reviews. If that guide review is negative, it’s going to hold a lot more value than the non-badged positive review right after it.
Other perks that directly affect you include:
Joining the conversation as Local Guides connect.
If you thought your clients were chatting about you before, if you respond unprofessionally to a guide review, they can spread the word even further within their guide groups.
Getting noticed with your Local Guides badge in Google Maps.
Not only do Local Guides stand out on your business review page, they have their own spot on the map, meaning your potential clients could be clicking on them out of curiosity only to find a negative review about you they weren’t even looking for!
Promoting your own meet-ups on the Local Guides calendar.
Is your business behaving badly? You can bet that will be brought up at the next Local Guides meet-up.
Local Guides are yet another way that Google is promoting community, and client opinions. While a Local Guide may not have the power to ban you from Google or anything terrifying like that, they do have their finger on the pulse.
By having the spotlight shining on them, their voice is stronger than ever, making it even more important that you make your voice strong as well. Behave professionally, always respond to reviews, and respect your Local Guides!Share: