No man’s land: Small businesses find a home in Google+
Much of the time, social media platforms take off like wildfire. A few years ago, almost overnight, everyone was on Facebook. Then came Twitter and LinkedIn, and now many experts are calling 2012 the year of Pinterest. However, another newcomer was thrust into the spotlight recently, although it hasn't really achieved the same recognition as many of the others.
For reasons unknown, Google+ has yet to truly take off with consumers. They simply have to have a Google account to be able to sign up, and they can connect with family, friends, coworkers and others, adding them to "circles" as they go along. Those who have already indulged have largely found the platform to be a lucrative means of connecting with others and meeting new people online.
However, a number of business insiders are now recommending small companies take advantage of the website before larger corporations catch on, in order to gain a competitive edge. While learning to navigate the platform, there are some elements that leaders or marketing staff may want to keep in mind to show consumers they are serious about their presence on the site.
Integrates with other Google sites
"If a small business decides to create a Google+ account, they have to be sure to give it 100 percent," explained Brenda Arndt, social media manager at Deluxe Corporation. "Not only will information from the profile be available to other users of the platform, but it can show up in Google searches and Google Maps results."
Mashable agreed with Arndt's sentiments, explaining that Google+ automatically integrates with companies' other offerings. This can be particularly important when consumers are searching for businesses. Chances are good that the Google+ page will be one of the first options. Therefore, owners have to make sure the content on their pages is well thought out and updated regularly.
Moreover, Zumba Fitness digital marketing specialist told the news provider, if a company has a presence on the platform, search engine optimization will probably be boosted and will appear higher up in the results than firms without Google+.
Add contacts to your circles
In a move to make networking easier on the site, companies should add individuals, like other small business owners, manufacturers and industry experts to their contacts by placing them in a circle, which is the equivalent to "friending" someone on Facebook.
Entrepreneur Magazine, citing information from a book by social media expert Guy Kawasaki, said some considerations have to be made before deciding to circle someone. For example, company leaders should make sure the person has a legitimate picture linked to their account, to ensure the individual isn't a spammer. Moreover, it's often a good sign if other people have circled that user, and if they are active on the website via their posts, the source explained.
If a business has a particularly informative page or offers users deals, consumers will most likely respond favorably. One of the options they have on Google+ is to give out a +1, which Inc. Magazine likened to a recommendation to their friends on the site. Company leaders can add a comment on their profiles asking users to +1 their company to share with friends.
As with nearly any other social media page, it can be beneficial to ask consumers to respond to this call to action by offering something. For example, the business could give a coupon, free shipping or a small gift to users who have +1'ed them or added the company to their circles.This entry was posted in Social Media. Bookmark the permalink.