As more businesses have looked for ways to enhance their marketing plans, the more businesses have looked towards more unconventional pathways to marketing success. Some people have been reluctant to latch onto the social media era of marketing, partially due to ignorance or misinformation, but it is gaining a large amount of traction in recent years. Google+ is one of the newer social media platforms, but it has showed tremendous upside and marketing potential for businesses. Many have been skeptical, or wanting to learn more about this powerful tool, and this is a simple tool to help introduce and navigate your business to great marketing success using Google+ as a platform.
Google+ has had great success in its beginning stages. While many were confused about its uses or simply didn’t want to switch to yet another social media platform, others have flocked to it. Since its beginning, Google+ has garnered over 500 million users, and is now the second largest social media network behind Facebook. At the time, VP of Product Brad Horowitz was quoted as saying, “I expect brands will notice this and build marketing plans around it.” Through this businesses will be able to learn effective techniques for setting up and managing their Google+ pages.
SETTING UP YOUR GOOGLE+ PAGE
A Google+ page will greatly enhance your business’ visibility through their unique social media techniques that extend beyond the website itself. Google+ is different from websites like Facebook and Twitter in that it has its own machine behind it, such as Google search, YouTube, and Gmail. What this means is that any time you use Google+ to enhance and market your business, you are rewarded with extra exposure because of Google+’s integration with these other platforms.
First you will have to create the page. You will need to use your personal or your work address to sign in, and if you already have a Google account you’ll be able to make the seamless transition. Google+, just like Facebook pages, will allow you to add other managers or administrators once you create the account. Your business will be able to choose from five different categories: Product/Brand, Company/Institution/Organization, Local Business/Place, Arts/Entertainment/Sports, and Other. Choosing the category that’s right for you will be pivotal in managing your page. After choosing a category you’ll enter the basic information about your company.
Next you’ll want to customize your profile. Google+ will ask you to enter 10 words which will serve as a description tagline for your company, called your “story.” You’ll enter important contact information and choose a primary image and a cover photo. Once you’ve finished customizing, you can use the Posts tab to share new content or statuses, or go back to the About tab to edit any of your info.
MANAGING YOUR GOOGLE+ PAGE
You’re going to need to do a lot more than just set up your business Google+ page to really see the benefits of great marketing and traffic for your commerce. Once you have everything in place, there are a few simple things you can do to optimize the performance of the page. The aim of your page is to take advantage of the special resources provided by Google+ that you wouldn’t necessarily find on other platforms. The first way you can do this is through the eyes of your visitors.
Sometimes you can get caught up in the creation of your page, and not realize the best way to really market. A better way to understand this is by looking at your page from a customer’s point of view. Using the ‘View Profile As’ feature, you can look at your page from a public and a personal point of view, and from here you’ll be able to take out anything that seems out of place.
Another good idea is getting other people help customize and manage your page. There are lots of great experts out there who can help you see what you might be missing, and have a lot of experience in the field of business marketing. One well known company is HubSpot, but there are many others to choose from.
You’ll also want to take advantage of the Communities feature which will link you to possible consumers in the same way that LinkedIn connects employers with appropriate candidates. Google Communities will help you reach a much larger audience. Using hashtags also works great to reach users. Google+, just like Facebook, has incorporated Twitter’s most famous feature, and it’s a great way for you to find specific consumers, or for them to find your page.
One of the most important things you’ll want to incorporate is visuals. It’s been proven over and over again that more people respond to visuals like videos, pictures, and gifs rather than a simple text status. The best thing about it is Google+ is naturally designed for that, and Google+’s special algorithm will work to display it all in an aesthetic fashion.
MAKING YOUR GOOGLE+ PAGE RELEVANT
This is the best and most important part of your Google+ business page. From its inception Google+ strove to set itself apart from all other social networks by pivoting around the power of all that is Google, and not just the social media site. That means that whenever people connect with your page, they can connect with every facet of Google services. And this is all done through a simple ‘like’ button, or in Google+’s case, the +1 button.
Your business already maintains a higher sense of online relevancy from the moment you sign up for a Google+ page, by virtue of the fact that Google search results simply treat these pages well. It’s like having automatic SEO, and in online marketing that’s something you can’t turn down. When you add the Google Authorship feature, your Google search results get even better. Now relevant searches show up with your personal page and your profile photo.
The +1 button may be the most important part of your page. +1’s dramatically revolutionize the way your content is seen, and the ability for it to spread to a wider audience. Google+ connections greatly enhance your visibility, and analysis has shown that pages which use the feature get more than 3.5 times more visitors.
Overall, many of these tips are very general in nature, but once you start to get a more specific and centralized plan for managing your Google+ page you should see a dramatic improvement in online visibility. You shouldn’t look at Google+ as just another social media site to sign up for, but as possibly the only social media site your business needs to sign up for.
By Candy Lowe