Here’s a highlight of some of the top local-business-related news of the week:
[Search Engine News] Google Introduces Maps Engine Pro to Help Small Businesses Visualize Customer Data
News Source: TechCrunch
On Monday, Google introduced Maps Engine Pro, a new utility that allows small businesses to use Google’s location tools to create maps out of proprietary data uploaded as a spreadsheet.
The tool is designed to help small business owners visualize and filter location-based data to help make better decisions about staffing, regional services, customer engagement, and other business practices.
For example, Pure Fix Cycles, a pilot tester for the program, used Maps Engine Pro to visualize the locations of East-Coast customer service calls. The program allowed them to determine which location would be the best to send a customer to based on proximity, inventory, and other factors.
Maps Engine Pro is currently available on desktop and Android mobile devices.
Key Takeaway: Google has spent a lot of time and effort building out robust map features for consumers and enterprises, but this is its first utility built specifically with small businesses in mind. If your business collects location data, this tool will be a huge help in identifying trends in and drawing conclusions from your data sets.
[Location App News] Foursquare Revamps Website, Highlights Nearby Hot Spots, Offers and Tips From Friends
News Source: The Next Web
Foursquare has focused on revamping its mobile apps for the past few releases. This week, the location-based social network rolled out extensive updates to its desktop site, Foursquare.com.
The site can now:
- Detect a user's location
- Highlight exclusive nearby offers and deals
- Highlight relevant locations based on the user's local time
- Serve up tips and highlights for any destination a user searches for
These changes will make Foursquare site much more useful to consumers searching for local businesses at home or at work on a laptop or desktop.
Key Takeaway: Foursquare has invested serious resources to improve both their mobile and desktop experiences-which is great news for businesses on the platform. Make sure your Foursquare profile is up to date and as complete as possible (note: including your full menu of products or services is a must). Also encourage your customers to check in and leave tips so that Foursquare has plenty of material to serve up to local consumers.
[Social Media News] LinkedIn Launches New Mobile Apps for Intro, iPad, and Pulse
News Source: Tech News World
LinkedIn rolled out new mobile apps this week to improve customization, reach, and productivity:
- A new iPad app includes enhanced search, job listings, and productivity features.
- Pulse, LinkedIn's news service app, also relaunched with new personalization and productivity features.
Key Takeaway: These new apps make it easier than ever to share and view personal and company profiles on mobile. Make sure your personal LinkedIn Profile is current, and if you don't already have a Company Page, consider setting one up so that viewers can find and follow your business.
Other news catch your eye this week? Leave a comment and let us know!