Pianos on Parade on 3rd and Hennepin

Show off Your Local and Make Your Own Google Posts

I became intrigued with this yesterday reading a post from Mike Blumenthal titled Google Posts Rolls Out Worldwide. You can now own more search engine real estate by providing short, recent posts, right on your Google Local Business Knowledge Graph.

Google Posts

Google recommends these posts be between 100 and 300 characters long (plus a quality photo). We recommend sticking closer to 100. This reads well for the user, plus Google only originally displays the 1st 100 characters in the listing.

For the photo, use one similar that you would use for Instagram. Google lets you crop it and move it around all slick like until it’s just right for you.

You can place a call-to-action to these posts with a URL whether it’s to entice users to buy, visit your site, book a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, or whichever you want your call-to-action to be.

Call to Action

For you businesses who wonder if you should start a blog, this just may be it. At least, Google hopes you think so. You would give consumers fresh, compelling content right in front of them while keeping the content within Google itself.

In Google’s announcement, they give you 4 standard examples.

Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.

Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.

Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.

Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.

Let’s customize a few to the Twin Cites letting customers know of these all while just doing branded searches for you.

  • Local summer road closures – ‘Tis the season. We all see it. Proactively let your customers know of this coming weekend alternative routes to you.
  • Date Specials – Some local restaurants have weekly date specials such as pizza and 1/2 off bottle of wine. Keep your customers informed.
  • Events at local areas of interests – Summers are full of different events at places like Loring Park, Mears Park in Lowertown, Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony main. Keep customers informed and up-to-date on all the different events at the users favorite places.

The list could go on and on. Just be creative.

Note: This can be all done on a laptop, but you can do this all on the mobile, too. Give it a try and keep up to date since this is where your users are going. When using the mobile to log into Google My Business, this screenshot is of a very user-friendly way to create these posts.

Create Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, being Google it’s easy to share to other places. curious to how it’s perceived on Facebook so I sent this out.Share to Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share or not share on other places? Will local businesses catch on? This is still brand new so the verdict is still out there.

 

 

Google Map of Fraser Event

How Do You Get to the WCCO “Pulling Together for Fraser” Benefit Event

Update 6/9/2017 – Looks like it’s all ready to go. Bring water, sunscream and #hashtug can be used on Facebook, Twitter and more on the event itself. It’s looking slick.

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Update 6/8/2017 – Minneapolis donations is still ahead by a couple thousand. I live in Minneapolis but have a soft spot for St. Paul. Personally, I may make a game-day decision but haven’t decided yet which city I’m pulling for.

They do stress that the best place to watch the event is indeed on the St. Paul side at Hidden Park. This is where the music, food trucks and kids events are taking place as well as how to get your free Metro Transit pass to it (the 46 route may work the best). All of the above info can be found on their events page. Just give it some time to load, folks. It takes a bit, but it will come up.

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Update 6/7/17 – WCCO continues to update the Fraser event site with information good for the user. Note: Minneapolis has surpassed St. Paul in donations. There’s still plenty of time to catch up, St. Paul. They showed the location on the morning news as well. Such a serene place on both sides of the river. Right in the middle of an urban area.

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The answer seems simple enough. You just go to WCCO’s subdomain CBS site and navigate it until you find directions, address or anything else that helps you navigate physically to the Fraser Benefit.

Only problem is good luck with that (sorry, still love ya’ WCCO). It’s not a WCCO issue as much as news sites in general that are so slow to load partially due to 3rd party ads that users simply give up. Well, here’s some information of how to physically get to the Fraser Event, as well as a few other tasty tidbits such as place to eat near there afterwards.

Here’s a customized map for you to view, use, add places and even share.

In my experience, the 46th St Transit Station is the easiest starting point as you can bike, walk, bus or light rail or park-n-ride it there. Then, take the 46 Bus east to the old Ford plant parking lot. Either way, then just count your steps with a Fitbit. It’s less than a half mile walk (or free shuttle) to the Hidden Park Fraser Event from there.

Tip: The good folks at Metro Transit are offering a free event ride. If you do this on mobile, you can take a screenshot of your ticket instead of printing one, therefore saving a bit of a tree to a place you’re going to that’s full of trees.

You can even bring your dog and watch from the Minneapolis side at the Minnehaha Off Leash Dog Park. From experience, parking should be even easier there as long as you don’t mind watching the main Fraser Events across a narrow part of the river.

You can donate to either the St. Paul or Minneapolis team the day of race and it may even be part of a decision due to a potential tie. This is a biggie for me. It makes everyone’s voice count.

While you’re in the neighborhood, consider taking in a meal (although there will be plenty of food trucks at the Fraser Event). The Highland Park area in itself has plenty of quality choices. One is the Highland Grill. Their side fruit cup is that incredibly-average dumpster-melon made delicious by adding homemade mint to it.

Burger and Fresh Mint from Highland Grill

Burger and Fresh Mint from Highland Grill

Protip: The Highland Grill is part of the Blue Plate Restaurant Company. David Burley is their CEO. On the back of every receipt, David proudly puts his cell phone number on it for feedback.

Think of this as Yelp before there was a Yelp, or at least before your current perception of What Yelp is today. They read your feedback and will often engage with you because of it. But, I digress.

That’s about it for now. Enjoy the tug-of-war, food, beverage, bands (Heiruspecs will perform at noon). Hope to see you there!

 


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Grand Old Day Parade 2017

Some days it just takes a Sunday Parade to realize the simple things, this one being the Grand Old Day 2017 Parade which was over an hour long. St. Paul is fairly well-known for sidewalk art with one in chalk starting with “At every spot, find a way to spread joy”.

 

Just a good way to end up a week. Have a great and local week, everyone!

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LocalMN Interactive
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A Day in the Life of a Google Local Guide Multi-Modal Transport User

Thanks to Google Maps and council members Jabob Frey, (tw) Alondra Cano (fb) and Abdi Warsame (fb), and of course Mayor Hodges (tw), it’s easier to us to navigate safely throughout Minneapolis within motor vehicles, public transit, bicycles, pedestrians and other ways.

Here’s just an everyday Saturday that shows collaboration of all.

We put these transportation concepts in our everyday and we hope others join us in doing the same.