Marketing Your Business with Google+
Google+ is the newest social network. Search giant Google developed it, and, as of November, 2011, it had about 31 million users. Until recently, Google+ only offered personal pages, but in November they started offering pages to businesses as well. These pages are available by invitation only for the moment, but the sooner your business can get one, the better.
Does My Business Need a Page?
Well, marketing professionals say yes. Even if you're already struggling to find the time to manage your Facebook and Twitter pages, you should add a Google+ page as soon as you get an invitation. Post the same information and statuses on your Google+ page as you're posting on your Facebook and Twitter accounts and you won't add much extra work, beyond setting up the page.
Unlike Facebook, Google+ business pages have no ads. Since your customers won't be exposed to marketing messages from your competitors, a Google+ page may be a better target than your Facebook page. Unfortunately, Google+ doesn't offer vanity URLs yet, so users won't be able to type it in. Even more reason to put the +1 button all over your company's website, blog and other social media pages.
The first business pages on Google+ were global brands. However, you should solicit your way into an invitation as quickly as you can. The exclusivity of the pages will fade quickly as more business develop them. The faster you get your page up, the better you'll look in the eyes of users, and the fewer pages you'll compete against for followers.
How Do I Find Followers On Google+?
Despite having four times fewer users than Facebook, Google+ pages still attract a lot of followers. Macy's page had over 12,000 followers after only a few days with few posts. Many businesses are offering some an exclusive sale as an incentive for users to follow their pages.
Google+ Your Business, the Google's page about developing business pages, says interaction is the key to Google+ success. Develop relationships to bring new customers to the table. Leverage some of your other social media followers and bring them over to your Google+ page by offering a deal, information or something fun to encourage them. Many may already have Google+ profiles and be happy to like your page, but you have to tell them you have one.
Will Google+ Help With SEO?
A Google+ business page improves your chances of ranking highly in organic search results. Whether your website has a great ranking or not, your Google+ page will be quickly indexed and integrated with Google search results. Put targeted keywords on your page and make sure you include a link to your website. Even if Googlebot doesn't follow the links, users will, and the Google+ page makes a great landing page for organic search traffic.
How Do I Use the +1 Button?
The +1 button is Google+'s version of Facebook's like button. Use it on your website and other social media pages to attract those with Google+ profiles. As with other social media pages, a page is only successful as its followers, and the +1 button takes them to your Google+ business page.
You can "+1" pages and articles as well. You put the button with the "like" and "tweet" buttons at the bottom of your articles, and users share those articles on their Google+ profiles. If you have a Google+ account, you can see what users are posting about you and track the buzz around your company.
What's The Best Way to Use the Circles?
Google+ uses circles to divide contacts into different groups. Harness the power of the circles by dividing your customers into different groups so you can market to each group differently. You could divide followers by region, and provide region specific sales, by age to market to different age groups, or divide new customers from old. Tailor your message to your target group to improve the response rate.