Apple Business Connect
The Apple Business Connect program.
Apple Business Connect is a program that can add your business to Apple Maps and display a "Place Card" brim-full of information about it.
The Place Card appears in many sites in the Apple universe aside from Apple Maps: Siri, Calendar, and Messages, for instance.
Even when your business might have been already discovered by Apple, there is a bit of work to do after you claim it.
The main task then, is to update your "Place Card" and make it informative an appealing, increasing customer engagement by adding inviting photos and accurate information.
The info in the card consists of:
- A "Display Name" (a.k.a.: company name)
- An "About" section of under 500 characters, where you can tell the viewers about yourself and your business.
- Photos of your location, if available/needed.
- Address & phone
- Hours of operation
- Website link
- You will also need to select from a list of categories, one or more that applies to your type of business.
- A "Good to Know" area where you can add useful attributes for this location (such as wheelchair accessible, parking - street or garage - pets welcome, credit cards accepted, contact-less payment, Apple Pay accepted, and more.).
- Most importantly, there is the "Showcase" area to highlight special offers and events. Showcases must adhere to the photo and text standards and guidelines and be approved by Apple. Keep in mind that Showcases expire 30 days after its release.
In the Business Profile area, you can manage your logo, cover photo, primary category and more, and if pertinent, you can do this across all your locations if needed.
In Business Connect, you can also set preferences such as your default language and add an add your app to control your listing, hassle free, from your phone. All of these will not be displayed on the place card.
After setup, the App is the most important part of the puzzle. It is where you are going to post periodically to your Showcase, which is the main promotional activity for this resource. Keeping your Showcase up to date gives you a powerful channel of communication with existing clients and raise the interest of new ones. Periodic activity in your app is also a good signal to Apple that your business is active and vibrant, and they'll be more likely to show it.
You should plan your Showcases with time, so customers get fresh content monthly. Where applicable, you can use the same Showcase for all of your locations or create unique ones for each - it is up to you.
Remember that Apple reviews the Showcase prior to acceptance - this might take up to 3 days, so plan accordingly. And also, keep in mind that editing a Showcase in review will reset the approval process.
A Showcase consists of:
- A photo, adjusted to the proper size, and with alternative text of up to 100 characters for accessibility.
- A headline of up to 38 characters.
- A description, or "body" of the offer or event, of up to 58 characters.
- A call to action (The actions available are call, directions, website, share, add to favourites, recommend this place, and under certain conditions custom actions are enabled, which allows you to program your own).
- A start and end date for the Showcase (up to 30 days).