First launched in Aug 2017 in the United States, the Q&A feature is now here in SA and quickly gaining traction. In the US, 25% of all locations already have had questions posted and here in SA, the Business Positioning Systems (BPS) team have seen the number of questions doubling month on month since launch. For marketers, Q&A is another channel to communicate with current and potential customers, customers who are often showing definite buying signals.
But as it's user-generated content, and thus out of the brand’s hands, the Q&A feature can impact your online reputation, therefore it's critical that businesses with multiple locations manage this platform closely. BPS has developed a Q&A strategy to turn this potential minefield into a communication goldmine.
Why you need BPS
1) Speed of response
Asking a question is a definite buying signal, and that makes the QA feature a major selling tool for brands. If a consumer is enquiring about an item being in stock, and the brand responds quickly this will in all likelihood lead to a sale; a slow response however may see the consumer turn to a competitor product. The length of need state depends on the product category, but even a product such as a new car can only be hurt by a slow response to a consumer’s questions.
11% of all questions asked since Q&A launched are reputation-related. Most of these are comments on the brand. Here’s a local example.
Such a question, on a public platform, whether justified or not, needs to be dealt with. Brands also face the potential of consumers jumping on the ‘brandwagon’ and sharing their negative thoughts. Brands and their agencies thus need constant monitoring of all their locations to ensure this doesn’t happen. Something that’s very difficult when you have 100-plus location pages and Google doesn’t notify you of Q&A activity. (Luckily BPS have developed a product that can handle this for you.)
Positive questions and responses can be optmised to ‘outrank’ other less flattering content. Brands also need the official brand response to remain above the fold and in the highest traffic areas. These are two of many optimisation opportunities this new crowdsourced dialogue brings to marketers.
Get in touch with BPS now to ensure that when it comes to GMB Q&A you have all the right answers.