Watch out Facebook… there’s a new cat in town!
With 97% of consumers searching for business online, Google+ presents an opportunity unlike any social media site, as your Google+ business page connects you with Google Search and Maps. As Google Plus currently has roughly 359 million active users, it provides an unmatched platform for both individuals and companies alike, and throughout this blog post we will explain how it can be used to promote your content and optimize your website.
Essentially, the foundation of creating your Google Plus business page profile is very similar to creating any other social media page. You select a user photo – which should be your company logo, a portrait, or a picture of your team – as well as a cover photo. You must also enter all of your key company information, like your address, contact information, hours of operation, and a short description of what your main products or services are. When setting up your Google+ profile, you can also share links to any and all of your other social media sites. This provides another avenue for your audience to see your content, as well as serve as a way to optimize your other social media sites.
After the foundation of your Google+ profile is set up, there are a few more key steps to take before you should begin using it to enhance your presence online. First, you should verify both your company’s website, as well as the email address provided under contact information. This is crucial because it will help build trust with Google by legitimizing your business. Next, you should set up some Circles. Your Circles are essentially different groups you can establish to categorize your friends and followers. Unlike Facebook or Twitter where all of your friends are on one long list, Google Plus allows you to sort your connections into Circles so you can target each group differently. For example, you can create Circles of people by region, like “Fort Collins” and “Denver”, or you can sort them by topic, like “SEO”, “Video Marketing”, or “Facebook”. It is also good to create a Circle with your company’s team. This not only makes it simple for you to connect and interact with your employees, but also allows your followers to easily access them as well.
Once all of your Circles are established you can begin connecting with people and creating content. And who exactly should you connect with? You should try and connect with potential customers, business partners, employees, and other professional organizations in your industry, even your competition. Connect with other business in your area and anyone else in your professional network as well. And when it comes to content, for the most part, you should follow similar guidelines that you use for your other social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. Always keep in mind what gets your attention. While it is simplest to type in text, what catches your eye when you are scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed? Large pictures are the number one posts that tend to really get peoples attention. So rather then just creating a post about your business and calling it good, you can say that same thing, and just by adding a picture, the chances that people will pay attention to you on their newsfeed increases tremendously. We also encourage you to ask people questions that coincide with the picture. This will get people to interact with your Google+ page and make them more invested in you.
When posting on Google+ however, there are some special secret ninja tricks that should always be considered. Unlike other social network sites, when you post to Google+, the first sentence of each post becomes the post’s title or tagline. With this being one of the most important ranking factors for Google, so you should always make sure that the first sentence of your post is engaging. This will increase the posts ranking and greatly enhance its click-through-rate. Don’t be afraid to throw some keywords into these titles as well! Another special aspect of Google+ is that unlike LinkedIn for example, there is no character limit. Take advantage of this and turn some of your posts into mini-blogs. Whether it is information that you provide your followers every day or every week, posting mini-blogs will help build trust and a level of expertise to your company’s reputation. Lastly, when posting, take advantage of the Circles you created and share your content strategically. For example, some of your posts may be targeted at people in a specific region. With your circles, you can direct the post at people specifically since it is not relevant to others.
Another awesome aspect of Google Plus is its Hangout feature. Similar to how Facebook has added a Video Calling feature, Google+ allows you to participate in video calls as well, however, they possess many more beneficial features. If your company deals with a lot of inter-company or client meetings, Google+ Hangouts are a great, free alternative to meeting in person. Google+ Hangouts can be used for a variety of purposes, from interviews, live webinars, private meetings, to weekly company meet-ups. Google+ Hangouts allow you to video-conference with up to 10 participants and you can stream the video to an unlimited number of viewers. You can also share screens with other Hangout participants, and can even record and upload your Hangouts to YouTube to recreate the content.
Overall, Google+ may appear complicated at first, however if it is used properly, it can greatly benefit your business and enhance your company’s presence online.