How and Why to use Google+ for Marketing

Now the second largest social network in the world.

SEO Benefits
It offers powerful SEO benefits. Of course, being owned by Google doesn’t hurt. Content shared through G+  is optimised for search results and a +1 share is weighted more favourably than a Facebook Like.

Users of Google+ are more tech savvy than their Facebook counterparts. Facebook users tend to be interested in more personal interactions than brand content, but it is best if you use both networks.

The good thing about Google+ is:
Circles
These allow you to segment your followers so that you can target the distribution of promotion materials to specific groups.

The default circles are Friends, Family, Acquaintences and Following.
While personal Profiles can add followers, business Pages are not allowed to add followers unless they add you first.

Followers also do not know which circle you allocate them to.
Potential uses of circles includes:
– for targeting promotional material e.g. auctions to consumers, valuation information to businesses, best practice methods for industry.

Analytics
The analytics surpass Facebook. Google+ Ripples and Google Analytics are much more advanced.

While it is easy to run photo contests and sweepstakes on Facebook, Google+ does not allow contests at this stage.

To set up a Google+ Page
Go to the Google+ website and log in with your Google Account.

Upload a large photo for your cover image. Maximum size is 940 x 180. Make it a strong brand image.

Enter your page name and web address.
If you are after a custom shortcode, you will be prompted to paste some code into your website’s homepage.

Then click the Test button and in a few days or weeks, Google will verify that you are connected and offer you the preapproval to use the shortcode e.g. google.com/+StrategiccreativeAu instead of the tremendously long tail of numbers it will offer instead.

Click on the About tab and Edit Profile.

Fill in as much useful information and contact methods as you can. Use keywords for your industry as well.

Then add five images to the photo strip and some status updates so that it isn’t so empty.

Then share with your contacts.

Do

  • Post regularly.
  • Do use #hashtags for relevant topics.
  • Do use Photo posts
  • Do use video posts
  • In fact, Do use a wide vary of media.

Google+ Communities

These are based around a theme and act as a kind of broadcast noticeboard.

Communities are a great way to interact with stakeholders around a common interest. It is important to build communities that are meaningful.

Topics of interest could be things such as ‘cats’ or ‘accurate valuations’, dealing with insolvency,  getting a bargain at auction.

Join other Communities.
This will spread your influence. Just don’t treat it like a billboard when you’re in someone else’s terrain.

Spread links to your Google+ Community everywhere – other social networks, email signatures, business cards, promotional material and your website.

You can also use Google+ Communities as customer service and marketing research channels.

Hangouts
This is where the on-to-one comes in.
This is where you can have a free group video chat for up to ten people.

This is awesome for something like a focus group or problem solving, as well as internal meetings and conferences and product demonstrations.

Symphonical is a Google Hangout that puts a virtual wall inside a hangout so that participants can collaborate on ideas. These get saved to the Symphonical website.

Hangout on Air is a tool that has been used by President Barack Obama. You broadcast to an international audience that is selected through connections with circles, and then a YouTube video is automatically created for your channel.

The first words are used as your title tag, so choose them carefully.

Link it with your Google+ Authorship.

The more popular articles you write, the higher the web visibility all of your other articles receive too.

Last but not least, add the +1 button in a good spot on your website.