Widely considered Google’s answer to Facebook, Google+ has already attracted 400 million users, with over 170 million of those considered active. Google+ offers businesses a great way to connect with their users, much in the same way that they can with Facebook, but with an added bonus. Google+ offers companies a great opportunity to increase their organic search results.
Google+ has introduced the “+1” button, which is very similar to Facebook’s “Like” button, but with more power. If a page generates enough +1’s it will rank higher in Google’s algorithm and thereby show up sooner in searches. So rather than living in Facebook’s shadow, Google+ has established itself as yet another unique tool that businesses can use to connect with potential customers.
Below are a few do’s and don’ts of Google+ that should help your business gain some extra followers and generate more +1’s.
4 Do's and Don'ts of Google+ for Business Do…
Use the URL of your homepage in your Google+ local listing
Think of Google+ as your ticket to improving your company’s visibility on Google search. It is possible to use Google+ to get your website to rank twice. Simply include the URL of your homepage in your Google+ local listing when initially setting up your page. This will cause you to show up in both Google Maps and a regular Google search.
Join and participate in active communities
The methods of gathering followers on Google plus is very similar to those of the other social media sites. To start out, try joining active communities and sharing content that is of interest to the group. Focus on creating strong relationships with your biggest engagers and any VIPs that may have interest in your brand. Share information that these users post in an attempt to generate a mutually beneficial relationship. Content that a person shares is seen by everyone in their selected circles, so share and be shared.
Take advantage of Circles to target specific segments
What makes Google+ truly unique is their “Circles” feature. Circles allows you to sort your followers into different groups, and share information directly with an individual (or multiple) group(s). Try to segment your followers into targeted groups so that you can appeal to certain followers on a more personal level than other social media platforms in order to generate leads.
Incorporate Google+ into your other web pages
The main goal on Google+ is to generate as many +1’s as possible. Think of a +1 as an endorsement for your product. Whenever another user +1’s your page, their contacts become exposed to your content. The +1 also helps your authority on Google’s search page, thereby improving your SEO. Just think about the results over time. Incorporate Google+ into your blog and other content to draw traffic to your Google+ page. Websites using the +1 button generate three and a half times the Google+ visits than sites without the button.
Assume your page has already been verified by Google
Since you are setting up your company page through Google, they should be automatically verifying you, right? Wrong. Google requires that the company take the initiative to have their page verified as the official page of that brand. Verify your page as soon as possible after signing up to protect your credibility.
Have employees link directly to your page
Think of this as more of a suggestion than a set-in-stone “don’t.” While it is great to have your employees share your content, it is not as good of an idea to have them directly recommend your company. An employee telling you that their company can do what they say they can comes across like a parent insisting that their child is a great athlete. It looks more like an obligatory referral than one generated by interest. Instead, have your employees share and +1 your content, and let your content prove what your company can do to their circles.
Post bland, text heavy content that comes across as “salesy”
When posting content to Google+, feel free to get creative. Google+ is much more like Facebook in the sense that your viewers are okay with seeing humorous content that does not necessarily relate directly to your business. Showing a sense of humor can still increase the likability of your business, and can help improve your following. Posts that come across as strictly sales-related are unlikely to keep followers because it continually offers them the same thing. Boring content will be ignored, so have some fun and give your followers what they want.
Run contests or create promotional offers directly through Google+
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google+ does not allow you to run contests or promotional offers directly through their site. Attempting to do so violates the terms of usage, and could result in your company profile being removed. This does not mean that you cannot advertise these types of promotions on Google+. Just include external links in your Google+ posts, and you will be able to utilize this engaging content.
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