Beginner’s guide to Google+ for business
In just 6 months it gained over 90 million users, and November saw it roll out business pages. Some are even saying Google+ is becoming a fast contender to take over the top spot from Facebook.
So how can you use it to your business’ advantage? And if you’re not on it yet, why not?
From a business owner’s point of view, I find that Google+ is a fantastic tool to develop relationships with people on multiple levels. Whilst it has taken a considerable amount of man hours to set up, webrecruit finally launched its Google+ page and so far, the results have been great.
Its functionality – circles, hangouts etc – help to distance it from other social networks; and because it’s owned by the search engine, it’s going to help with your SEO all at the same time.
Getting started: setting up a Google+ business page
1. Visit the page to set up your account
2. Choose an email account that is accessible to many members of your team
3. Create a page and customise – make sure to use your corporate colours, strap lines and relevant links to your website
4. Tell everyone you have a page – add it to your website, your newsletter, your email signatures
Using Circles to target your messages
Different people like different content. Your prospects may be information gathering; customers may be loyalty schemes. Treat circles just like you would segment your marketing messages otherwise you won’t see the ROI you want.
Set up circles to reflect your customer base – by location, organisation size and industry – and tailor your messages accordingly. This provides a great way to get your message out quicker, to the right people.
Google+ helps to influence how you get traffic from the search engine. This means it will improve results because of the type of information it gets from your page – whether that’s policing pages or seeing how you interact with others.
You will have started to see the +1 appear on website pages. This allows users to ‘like’ a page, therefore allowing you to see who in your network recommends a page.
Watch out for companies selling +1s. Not only is this a poor way of getting them, Google knows they are spam and will deduct them.
Here are my top tips to remember when setting up a Google+ business page:
– Pages can be made for a range of things – businesses, products, celebrities etc – but a profile is only for people
– The default privacy setting for elements on your business page is public
– Share lots of photos – Google+ is a great platform to make things go viral
– Local pages have special fields that help people to find the business’ physical location
– Analyse traffic from Google+ when looking at metrics
I’d suggest visiting Social Media Examiner’s guide for a very good overview. (It’s slightly dated, but includes valuable information).