Social Networking is a critical part of any organization’s marketing campaign. With so many social networks available, you might be overwhelmed and wondering “why should I use Google Plus for my small business”. Indeed, why should your small business should be concerned with a trendy hipster group of another growing social network. Learn more about why Google Plus is perfect for your small business in this article. Use Google Plus for Business or you will be missing a big opportunity.
Google Plus For Small Business Features
Google Plus is feature packed and has significant investments in emerging technologies. Most of the important Google Plus features are cutting edge and for that reason, expect major growth and long-term continued support for those features that “catch on”.
Arguably the greatest benefit of Google Plus for small business is Google verified authorship of content. Google has already said that verified author created content will outrank unverified content in search engine result pages. By simply verifying your content, you get a tremendous advantage over those who have not verified their content.
Relate Contacts using Circles in Google Plus
Google Plus is great for grouping contacts into virtual collections Google calls “Circles”. You may have seen the feature revealed in a TV commercial. Circles are great because you can use them when sharing, emailing, or inviting to events. Let us look at an example. A home improvement contractor create Circles and use those Circles to connect with past customers and potential new clients. Contacts can exist in multiple Circles, so the contractor would want to create a Circle for “Past Clients” and another for “Customer Leads”. He can use the Past Clients list to market warranty and repair services. Perhaps one of the Past Clients purchased a wooden deck, so the contractor can place the customer in both “Past Clients” and “Deck Owners”. Another potential customer owns a swimming pool, thus the contractor can place that contact in “Customer Leads” and “Flagstone Patio Market”. The contractor can use the “Customer Leads” Circle for general marketing material and opportunity finding, while the “Flagstone Patio Market” circle would be perfect for material the contractor might share about how a luxury yard can benefit from an installed flagstone patio. The possibilities are endless, and I invite business owners to ask me how their small business can get the most from using Circles in Google Plus.
Google Plus is an excellent platform for sharing content. It is very fast. It supports animated images, videos, and links to Google drive content. Users are able to quickly see new content in their streams. Viewers can instantly vote for shared content or leave a comment on the entry. Google Plus users are able to view content in 1 or 3 columns. As they see three columns, information appears and disappears very quickly.
Hashtags allow you to associate content with trending keywords and create new trends. Successful use of hashtags may take some creativity and experimentation. Hashtags on other platforms have polar opposite results for their history of success. Almost ubiquitous on Twitter, hashtags are generally overlooked on Facebook. I recommend using hashtags in every post. Stick with it, and you’ll learn how you can fit them into your daily social media strategy.
Google Plus Communities
Google Plus communities allow you to take part in activities and discussions related to various topics. Become active in these communities and increase your exposure while multiplying your knowledge and connections. Almost like a virtual convention where everyone gets to take the mic, these communities can quickly become a captive audience.
Autoawesome is a feature that enhances pictures uploaded to Google+ Photos. Examples include automatic generation of panorama images from a series of images. It will also create animations from a series. Text is automatically detected in images. The images can be found using a search for the text in the images. You don’t have to take any extra steps and your original pictures are unchanged. Google simply creates new images and adds them to your Google+ account
Hangouts and Hangouts On Air
Hangouts and Hangouts On Air are new virtual collaboration environments. They let you interface with your clients, customers, and employees using audio and video conferencing. Applications and desktops can be shared. The entire event can be recorded in an “On Air” record so that anyone can playback or view at a later time.
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A new feature enables you to use your Google+ content on your home page. This is a neat feature that enables business owners to directly integrate Google Plus for Business into their web sites, including home, landing, and pivot pages.
As the Android operating system continues to grab foothold in the smartphone market place, more users are beginning to have the service available on their smartphone. Google Plus is capable of instantly notifying users by generating pop-ups and status bar notifications. This is excellent for engaging in real time discussion (“the early bird gets the worm”, we know this is often relevant in marketing and here’s another example of where the age old adage applies especially well)
Another way of promptly notifying and receiving updates is through email. Email has many of the same benefits as smartphone notifications. Email notifications are different in that they appear in a familiar environment for the user. Additionally, email notifications can be processed, managed, filtered, and rules applied just like any other e-mail.