It’s fair to say that Google+ has had a rather tepid start to life, but now with over 400 million users and the acquisition and integration of apps such as Snapspeed, it looks like Google+ is here to stay.
As part of your social media strategy, the key question to ask is, “how can Google+ help my business?”
1. Increase in Google’s Search Results
It’s no secret that Google is putting more and more emphasis on social media in their search results, and an increasing number of Google+ posts are ranking high in the SERP’s.
The old adage of ‘content is king’ is true here, write engaging posts and lead with a title that will draw users in.
2. Become a Local Superstar
The local tab on Google+ shows up businesses that have been geo-targeted to a users location. These results are also integrated with various review aggregators such as Zagat for restaurants.
To take full advantage of this, create a page for your business, make sure you set your location and then create posts with location specific keywords that also interact in some way with your community.
3. Free Video Conference Calls with the Click of a Button
Google hangouts are a great way for personal users to engage, but also a very useful tool for businesses to take conference calls and share ideas. With hangouts you can video call up to 9 people, and the best part is it is free. You can also start hangouts on smartphones and tablets, meaning as long as you’ve got a stable internet connection you can connect with your office, clients or customers. Another great feature is the share screen button for real-time collaboration.
4. Give Your Brand a Voice
As Google+ doesn’t have a direct way of selling your products (yet) the emphasis is to engage with your customers and build brand awareness. Google+ has created an almost intimate environment with circles and hangouts, take full use of this by creating personal content. Ask for feedback, opinions, create questions that will stimulate a discussion. It is tempting to just re-post from other social media platforms, but with Google+ it pays off to take the time to create unique content, especially as no doubt Google will frown upon spammy content, as they do in their search results.
5. Check-In Offers
While this may only appeal to businesses with a physical location, Google has a feature where a customer can ‘check-in’ via the places app and take advantage of a special offer the business has offered. After the failed acquisition of Groupon Google has been looking for a way to capitalise on the growing coupon market and this might be the feature to crack it. For businesses this means a potential increase in sales and also the incentive for customers to interact with their Google+ page, which in turns boosts credibility of the brand.