>Google Plus has the potential to be a great marketing tool for your business through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This article will explain SEO and Social Media Marketing. We will also offer you step by step instructions so that you can incorporate Google Plus into your company’s marketing strategy.
The first thing you are probably thinking when you hear Google Plus is “oh great, another social network”. However, since Google Plus is very new, it is very likely that lots of people are going to be trying it out in the near future. This means more exposure for your business. A new network could equal exciting new opportunities for your business. You could reap the benefits of being one of the first to utilise Google Plus for marketing purposes. On the down side, as with any very new network, there is always a chance that it may fail.
It may be tempting for you to stay out of the social media rat race. However, it would be unrealistic not to consider that virtually everyone now uses at least one form of social media. Social Media is a quick and easy way to reach a very large group of people. Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, My Space, Blog or Google Plus, anyone who wants to be considered cool or hip in the marketing world is now using social media. If you choose not to utilize social media, you will certainly be left behind.
You should start by asking yourself the following questions if you are thinking about using Google Plus as a marketing tool:
1. Why would my company want to participate in Google Plus?
2. What do I want to say, discuss, post or share?
3. Who is going to listen, care or participate?
If you are like most people, you may still be wondering “What is Google Plus?” The best analogy that we have is that Facebook and Twitter had a baby and it is Google Plus. Like Facebook, Google Plus is very friend oriented. On the other hand, like Twitter, it is very timely, open and trend friendly.
When signing up for Google Plus, we suggest that you sign up as an individual rather than as a company. It seems that there are more opportunities at the individual level rather than at the company level. After you log in, you may notice that the layout of Google Plus is very similar to Facebook. All of the companies that you are subscribed to will show up in your News Feed. It is also the same concept as Twitter in that you can follow people by viewing their most recent posts. This is where you can gain from Google Plus. You want to get lots of people to follow your business, giving you more exposure.
Another useful tool with Google Plus is the use of “circles”. You can group your contacts or followers into circles, which will allow you to choose who sees certain messages you send out. Rather than posting for everyone to see, you can just send your messages to certain groups of people.
When setting up your profile, you will want to keep in mind that you want to be viewed as a guru in your industry. You want people to see you as someone who knows all there is to know about your business. When filling out the “About” section, try to include links over to your web site. An interesting feature with Google Plus is that in the “Employment” section, you can include a tag. This allows you to put a brief ad about yourself that people can view if they hold their cursor over your profile photo. This is helpful to people who may want to know more about your company or who are thinking about following you on Google Plus. You can also link over to your Facebook, Twitter, Yelp or other accounts.
On your profile, you will want to list pages that you contribute to. This allows your profile to show up in Google search results when people search for these various pages that you contribute to. You should also fill in the “Recommended Links” section of your profile. This will allow potential customers to learn more about you and the type of business you are in. You will always be able to see who you are following and who is following you on your profile page.
The “Plus One” feature on Google Plus is the equivalent of the “Like” feature on Facebook. The importance of this feature is that when you click Plus One on a page, your profile photo will show up on the News Feed of your subscribers and they will be able to see the pages that you have Plus One’d. When someone enters a search into Google, your profile will come up in the search results. You should always Plus One your own company. You can also utilize the use of hash tags with Google Plus. They work the same way that they do with Twitter. Any time you use the hash tags it becomes a clickable link.
When you want to find pages or people to follow, you will simply click the search box at the top of your profile page and type in a search topic. You will then click on the company or individual profile you want to go to and if you would like to follow them, add them to a circle. The owner of that page will then get a message stating that you are now following them. This may in turn inspire them to check out your page and subscribe to it.
You can find pages you may be interested in using the Google search engine by typing “site:plus.google.com” and then entering a subject. You will then be shown search results from Google Plus for your subject. Another benefit of signing up as an individual rather than a company is that a company cannot follow an individual unless that individual follows the company first. If you are signed up as a company, it could limit your marketing capabilities because of this. You can create a company page through your individual page in the same manner that it is done on Facebook if you would like to have a page just for exposure purposes.
Business owners and marketing representatives will want to take advantage of Google Plus for many different reasons. We will now discuss some of the advantages of Google Plus as well as the opportunities that it may offer your business.
Become a Guru in your Industry
Google Plus can provide you with a vast audience with whom you can share information. The more information you share, the better your business looks in the eyes of the consumers. Your ultimate goal should be to become known as a guru in your industry. With Google Plus, you have the ability to use rich snippets syntax in order to identify yourself as an industry professional. For example, if you want to identify yourself as an author, you would type rel=”author”. When you do this, it will allow your business to move closer to the top of the Google search engine results page.
Leverage Google+ for SEO & Social Search
It is no surprise that since it is Google, Google Plus is inter-weaved with Social Search and SEO. Google is, in a way, leveraging its monopoly in search to bring us into Google Plus. That is a huge opportunity for many companies. By utilizing SEO, you can boost your advertisements to the top of Google’s free listings. The more subscribers you have or circles you are in on Google Plus, the higher you will appear in Google search results. Your profile photo will also appear in the search, making your company more appealing to the potential customer. If you do not have enough subscribers for your profile photo to show up on the Google search, then you should find a company or individual in your industry that shows up near the top and Plus One them. This will make your profile show up as being associated with theirs.
Make sure that you put the Plus One button on your web page. When someone clicks the Plus One button on your web page, they are then associating themselves with your page. When their friends search for a related subject, your page will show up in their search results with the indication that their friend “likes” your page.
Engage with Customers
Google Plus, like Facebook, is very social and friend oriented. You have the opportunity of interact with potential customers, and this could be a great opportunity if Google Plus takes off in this area. The biggest advantage it has is that you can group your contacts by utilizing the Circle feature, and when you send out messages you can choose which groups can view the information. You may want to send more detailed information to newer contacts, while only sending follow up messages to older subscribers.
Video & Hangouts
The Hangout feature with Google Plus could be a good opportunity for companies who benefit from video. Lots of customers would rather watch a short video than to read a lengthy article.
Now that you know a little more about Google Plus and the tremendous impact it can have on your company’s marketing program, you will want to do your marketing homework. You can start by paying attention to Google Plus and the emerging social search trends. Your next step is to take advantage of these new search trends by adding the Plus One button to your web page. You will also need to be very aggressive in adding people and companies in your industry to your circles. Plus One as many pages as you can so that you can increase your exposure through Google search results.
The only sure way to know if Google Plus can benefit your company is to try it out. Sign up, create your profile and add as many contacts as possible. Remember that you can’t always wait for the customer to come to you. You must also Plus One as many pages as possible. Check the search results often to see where your company stands and if your profile photo starts to show up in search results. After several months, hopefully your business will have seen some benefits of using Google Plus.