How to Manage Google+, Yelp and Facebook for Multiple Location Businesses and Franchises

If you are the owner of business with a dozen locations or more, managing your listings in Google+, Yelp and Facebook can be quite time consuming. Fortunately, Google+ has special tools for managing anything from a dozen to thousands of locations, allowing you to list them “in bulk,” and manage them without having to spend an excessive amount of time on each listing. For Yelp and Facebook, you may still need to manage each listing individually.

Managing Multiple Locations on Google+

For Google+, you simply need to visit Google Places. Start by logging in to your Google account, or create one if necessary. Make sure that your account includes an email address with your business domain name to speed up the verification process. This may require creating a new account, but it’s well worth the extra time in the long run.

If your business has ten or more locations, the easiest way to proceed is to upload a spreadsheet file in any of the following formats: .csv, .txt, .xls, .tsv, .xlsx and .ods.  Once you have done so, you can always add individual rows or edit your listings without having to download and re-upload your file.  If you’re not sure how to create your spreadsheet file, Google+ offers an article with some excellent guidelines.

If you have more than one type of business or company, avoid the temptation to add them all to the same bulk upload. Limit each account to one brand or company.

It’s important to verify your authority to manage your initial upload because unverified listings will not appear on Google Maps. Be careful to follow all of the instructions for verifying your locations, as all listings will be reviewed and verified before being published.

Managing Multiple Locations on Yelp

For Yelp, unfortunately, the process is not so easy. Yelp does offer tools for managing multiple locations, but they come at a price that may be prohibitive for some. In this case, it might be better to have each location claim their individual listings.  Although this may be quite a bit more labor-intensive than Google+, it is still well worth the effort.

A recent study by Merchant Warehouse concluded that 93% of those who researched local businesses on Yelp and other review sites subsequently made purchases from those vendors. Potential customers check out Yelp pages for a wide variety of business, including eateries, nightclubs, beauty salons and spas, home repair services, hotels, travel, auto repair, health services, professional services, pets, financial services and more.  Just having a Yelp account has been shown to increase an average business’s revenue by around $8,000 a year.

Managing Multiple Locations on Facebook

Facebook has a parent-child page structure that is available to large businesses such as franchises who want to create multiple pages under the umbrella of one home page. This allows them to link all of their pages together and manage the main content, while individual locations can add content to their individual pages. Essentially, individual location pages are all created under one group account, which is linked to Facebook’s new “Social Graph” and “Nearby” technology.

This service requires the support of an approved agency to coordinate with Facebook and may not be available for smaller businesses. The best thing to do is to contact Facebook directly and find out how to proceed.  The alternative is to set up individual pages for each location.

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