A Guide For Using Google Plus For Your Business
Google Plus is on its way to becoming the most powerful social network on the Internet (if it isn’t already). Not only is Google Plus a social extension of Google’s long list of prolific products, but it is also an essential business tool that should be integrated into every digital marketing strategy moving into 2014. Here is why:
___________________________Update | 04/03/14: Forrester Research and Forbes.com recently collaborated on a study to show Why Every Marketer Should Use Google Plus and the results were outstanding. Yes, unfortunately there is still a stigma associated with Google Plus and how they inflate their user numbers and yes G+ still isn’t the Facebook Killer it was touted to be, but there were some very strong statistics to come out of their research, which may surprise some people.
- 22% of surveyed American’s visit Google Plus each month (that’s the same number whom use Twitter and more than those who use Pinterest, Instagram or Linked In)
- On average, top brands have collected 90% as many fans on G+ as on Twitter (brands surveyed say they have more followers on G+ than YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest combined)
- Brands’ G+ posts generate nearly as much engagement per follower as their Facebook posts and almost twice as much as their Twitter posts
Unlike other social networks, Google Plus allows you to see a direct correlation between your business presence on the platform and drastic improvements in search engine rankings – and it lets you do it for free. This makes Google+ an invaluable resource on an indisputably Google-centric Internet.
Google Plus is growing rapidly. In fact, it’s now the second biggest social network. Over 50% of Internet users have Google+, making the potential hard (if not impossible) to ignore and with Google’s latest algorithm update, Google Hummingbird, now putting more emphasis on social signals, specifically social signals from its own social network, it’s hard not to see why Google Plus integration is an advantage to any marketing plan.
We fully endorse Google Plus, but are also aware that many people don’t know about its advantages or don’t really understand them. We’re here to breakdown a few of the benefits of Google Plus for businesses and make the perks of this platform clarion.
Why you should use Google Plus in 2014ref: talkandroid.com
You can target your audience
Unlike many other social networks, the benefits of using Google Plus include the ability to address certain groups or individuals with relevant information. In other words, everyone does not see everything. This precise targeting is achieved by categorizing your contacts into 4 distinct circles: Public, Your Circles, Specific Circles and Specific Person.
Public: It targets who it sounds like it targets – the public (i.e. everyone on Google+). General marketing to the biggest potential client base is usually your best bet, exceptions being when you have exclusive offers you only want to make available to a Specific Circle.
Your Circles: Posts made here will be seen by your entire follower base. You won’t want to use this function too often since it is unlikely a single message will be pertinent to every single person in your wide range of Circles.
Specific Circle: You can create custom Circles to target specific followers for specific messages. This means your message will be more relevant and you’ll see more conversion.
Specific Person: This function allows you to target a follower on a one-to-one basis. There is also a function that allows you to email up to 100 people in a selected Circle – just don’t get an itchy trigger finger. Abusing this feature can send people packing from your Circle, thereby reducing your follower base and potential reach.
You can join relevant Google+ Communities
Join Communities to tap into a veritable haven where people share the same passions. This is a great place to discuss common interests and do soft promoting for your business. You don’t want to go in for a hard sell here. Social networking is not built on or for blatant marketing. It is not a classified ad. This sort of in-your-face marketing is a major turn-off. Use your presence in Communities to generate a buzz, create interest, and inspire action – nothing more. Make potential clients come to you.
You can take advantage of Google Integration
As we’ve already mentioned, Google is the dominant search engine and it has incorporated Google+ into its algorithm for ranking. If you use Google+ properly, your company is more likely to rank higher when someone performs a Google search.
Google’s Integration goes further: Google Places and Maps will impact the search results for a local service in the area and favor businesses that use Google+. Similarly, linking an employee’s Google+ account image with a blog post using Google Authorship from the company site will drive conversion by up to 150%.
Along the same vein, Google Plus Reviews are appearing in search activity, and this influences leads and conversion. Actively soliciting positive feedback will help you control and bolster the reputation of your business.
You can’t ignore this growing opportunity. Google+ now boasts 1.116 billion accounts worldwide, a number that’s increasing and set to overtake Facebook. Signing up is quick, easy, free and it will benefit your business on multiple fronts. Sure, managing your presence on Google+ will take a little time, but the payoffs are worth this minimal effort. Best of all, once your presence is firmly established, the integrated benefits of Google+ do a lot of the work for you.