Google+ for Business
Google Plus was launched in June 2011 as a social network operated by Google. The service was first introduced as “invitation only” but after such high demand, Google+ was opened to anyone over the age 18 in September 2011, and later to the public, for those age 13 or older, in January 2012. It has been suggested that G+ is Google's greatest attempt to compete with Facebook.
Google identifies G+ as a “social layer” that encompasses its many other online services. The social network integrates features including Google Profiles, Maps, Circles, Hangouts and more. Businesses already depend on several of Google's services and social media marketing, so why not take advantage of all the benefits at once.
Google is considered the preferred search engine with over 75% of search users worldwide. This aspect alone makes Google+ valuable for businesses and brand promotion. Businesses who utilize Google+ pages will not only experience an increase in visibility for local searches but will also benefit in rankings as it is indexed by Google. As one of the newest social networks, many businesses have yet to discover and take advantage of all Google+ has to offer.
Google+ can help current and potential customers find your business page easier. Google provides the benefit of linking your G+ Business page with your G+ Local Page through the use of Google Maps. Users are able to interact with your business by posting reviews about your service and their experience. Google+ offers three main functionalities for businesses: share, promote and measure.
Google+ pages help businesses form relationships with their customers by communicating through sharing posts, photos, videos and links. You can make your page private and offer promotions exclusively to your followers or you can make posts public and users can find you by simply searching online. Google+ also allows users to manage circles. You are able to target specific information to certain groups of followers based on their interests, location or demographics. It is important to interact with your followers by responding to their comments, questions and complaints. Google also provides the ability to communicate with customers or fellow employees face-to-face by video through the use of “Google Hangouts.”
The second main feature Google+ offers to business users is the ability to promote their page with the G+ badge. Similar to Facebook, viewers are able to promote your website and Google+ page through the “+1” button. Businesses can place the “+ 1” badge on their website or other marketing material encouraging viewers to “follow” your Google+ page. Searchers are able to make personal recommendations to their “circles” of friends and family by clicking the “g+1” button.
Most importantly, Google+ lets you measure your results. Businesses are able to see what users are saying about their brand, the number “+1's” their pages receives and how this affects their online traffic. Gaining an understanding of what people are saying about your business lets you reward your fans with a gift card or address an issue you may not have known existed. You are also able to learn who is sharing your posts and use that knowledge to recognize their interests. Google Analytics' Social Plug-in provides social reports to help you measure how “+1s” influence your site's engagement and what pages of your site interests viewers the most. Please contact us to learn more!
By Dallas Sage