Google My Business for SMEs in PNG
As more and more people are using the internet to search for whatever products or services they need, it is important for small businesses to have their online presence. And when it comes to creating an online presence for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Papua New Guinea, lot of SMEs owners think terms of setting up a Facebook page for the business and promote their products and services on social media or a website. These two (2) are great and has lots of benefits to it. However, it is good to weigh out the advantages and disadvantages of both so that it suits the SME’s marketing needs.
Facebook Business Page
Advantages of Facebook Business Page
- Easy to create. Can be created within an individual person’s Facebook account and manage it.
- Exposure to a larger audience of social media users who can be potential customers.
- Build Followers of the page, which means more referral to friends of friends of those followers.
Disadvantages of Facebook Business Page
- Have to create posts on a regular basis. Creating multimedia content like videos, slides, posters and stuff requires time, effort and skills.
- Promote the posts on Facebook groups to get exposure. Otherwise, posts will see by those who visit the page or got a referral from friends or by Facebook group member.
- Need to pay Facebook to promote your post on Facebook if the post has seen by target face user audience. For example, launching a new product or service in Hagen and wants to promote it to all Facebook users in Hagen or Western Highlands. Then Facebook can be paid to run the advertisement (post) to all users in Hagen. Otherwise, the post will be viewed only by those who visit the company page.
- Constantly reply to comments/queries and respond to complains.
- Hard to measure conversion. Meaning, after putting on efforts of creating posts and managing the company page, it hard to tell or measure the success rate (getting sales out of it). Takes time to realize it.
Advantages of SME Website
- Vital information like contact numbers, services or products listing, and etc remains exposed to wider audience 24/7 .
- If the website is ranked by search engines like Google, Bing, and etc, then it’s can be easily located whenever someone do an internet search that matches the products and services offered by the company.
- Doesn’t have to regularly update like the Facebook page posts. Only when needed.
Disadvantage of SME Website
- Cost to create a website and maintain it with a hosting provider. Hosting providers in PNG are bit more expensive than overseas or cloud based hosting providers. This isn’t a disadvantage if SME can afford it as part of its operational expenses. Most hosting providers charge customers as subscription fees on a monthly or annual basis.
- Rely on ICT trained person for maintenance and interaction with technical support team from the hosting provider.
Google My Business
Google which is the most popular and widely used internet search engine has come up with Google My Business. This is feature is provided Free to SME owners or any individuals who uses it’s free Gmail for email communications. Using Google My Business, they can list their vital business details, which are as follows:
- Business Name
- Type of Business
- Postal Address
- Phone Numbers
- Street Location
- Opening Hours/Days
Once, they have completed the Google My Business listing process with the above details, the details will be appearing in Google Internet Search by people, search on Google Maps, and most of Google Services. This is a great way to have a SME listed. The listing is easy to manage. Listing can be deleted, edited and if the SME as several locations or branches, they all can be listed with their specific details.
So, here is how to setup Google My Business from Gmail Account.
Set up Google My Business
What is needed before setting up Google My Business listing
- Valid or working Gmail email account. If you don’t have it then, go to gmail.com and create one. It’s straightforward.
- Piece of paper or printed document with all the vital business details as specified above.
- Internet connection. If using Mobile phone/device for internet connection, make sure there is enough data credit so you don’t get disrupted during the process of listing.
Here are the steps to Set up Google My Business listing.
- Login to your Gmail Account and click on Google Apps button and click on My Business. This will lead you to Google My Business webpage.
2. Click on Manage Now button. Click Add your business to Google.
3. Type your business name, click Next and to add Business Category (Type of business, eg, Bakery) , until you filled all the essential details required.
4. Finally click Finish to finish off your registration. This will display the main dash board. From the dashboard you create
5. From the Dashboard, it’s matter of looking around the features and have some posts, Photos, and etc. and polish up the listing.
Google My Business is something all SME business owners should use to create an online presence on Google Search Engine with no cost at all. Next time you enter your business name in the Google Search Engine, it will show up automatically, thanks to Google My Business.