Why your business should be on Google Plus – Tips on how to maximise the social network
Since its launch in September 2011, Google Plus has accumulated over 1 billion G+ accounts, boasts 359 million monthly users (easily eclipsing Twitter’s 241 million users) and is set to grow at 33% per annum. These figures highlight the social network’s success as a platform which is constantly increasing and improving its presence and appeal, despite there being a long-debated discussion about its function and position in comparison to other channels like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Allowing users to share photos, listen to music together, play games and ‘Hangout’ with others, G+ certainly has its social offerings. But what about its uses about from a business perspective? The channel is increasingly being considered as one of the best ways to establish a presence with an ever-growing crowd of active users, a valuable means of connecting and engaging with customers plus promoting products and services, even holding business meetings.
Being active users of the channel with our Company Page, at The Media Octopus we thought we would share how to maximise using G+ for your business, highlighting why it should be strongly considered and certainly not a platform to be ignored.
Establish your business profile
Start with creating a personal profile then initialise your business page, which equips you with accessible formats for both personal and professional networking. Make sure you verify your ownership of your business website or blog, to add some credibility within your network. Put a face to your name and create a 30-degree tour of your business with interactive photos, a great feature which gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and presents the personality of your business to the public.
A unique aspect of G+ is the Google Local feature. If you are a local business dependant on generating traffic to your Google Places, this is a crucial factor, as it will now transport the consumer to Google+Local if they select your Google Places listing on Google. This provides an improved platform for your business to be promoted, plus users can view helpful comments, reviews and scores via a rating system. By integrating Google Maps with your profile, you can help connect your business with local customers and provide directions and information about your location on a regional basis.
Integration with social media platforms
As well as being integrated with all of Google’s services, including Gmail, Google Drive and YouTube, G+ is convenient in that it provides both consumers and businesses with a singular format for all operations. G+ is also pursuing further integration of social media content into its search ranking algorithm; it will be significantly cheaper for businesses to promote their visibility on search engine results. This is great news for increasing the online presence and popularity of your company, informing a vast audience of potential customers about your services and products.
Organise and categorise your connections
G+ Circles provide a flexible way to follow, group and organise your connections into specific categories relevant to your use of G+ and industry. Communities allow you to tap into prospects and group of people who are interested in your market – you can create your own communities or become engaged in existing ones, helping to establish your authority and increase your exposure. These Communities provide the opportunity for your business to promote your products and improve the efficiency of your business by having access to a direct communication channel.
A new way of engaging and interacting with your audience
G+ opens up a new channel for interacting with your customers and prospects directly, thanks to groups, G+ Circles, comments and Communities, making it a valuable platform for engagement. The Hangouts feature is a unique way to communicate with a group of other G+ users, by holding video conferences and meetings for instance, or providing one-to-one support to customers or generating feedback. Influence is another important factor to see how your posts have been distributed and consumed. Google Ripples is a relatively new feature to G+, which aims to display how a post has influenced other feeds by providing insight and data on your shared posts.
Effective advertising with AdWords
While Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter each have their own ad-based models for generating revenue, including by demographic, brand affinity and professional status, G+ provides marketers with the ability to serve ads to people based on their basic demographics and what they search for with AdWords. As such, this enable the ultimate advertising network for marketers, combining everything needed to reach an audience.