Google Plus, you might have heard about it, but like many people still might know what it actually is… Well what is it? Google Plus is a social media platform that extends past the social network itself, also connecting all of Google’s properties. You no longer need an invite to join, but you’re probably thinking that it’s just another social network. You’re already on Facebook and Twitter, so why would you need to have yet another social media account?
According to Social Media Today, Google Plus is “arguable the most important social network for businesses and marketers and should be integral to content-focused SEO strategy.” Google Plus is important for businesses because it can increase their online presence. In an article on Forbes, Linda Sherman, a consultant and former CEO of ClubMed Japan made this statement about Google Plus, “people who are ignoring it are falling behind…Google Plus can give you access to influencers who might not notice you elsewhere…There is a nice spirit of camaraderie that people seldom feel with well-established platforms.” You might not be on Google Plus, but your customers still are.
“No one loves Google more than Google.” Having a Google Plus account can help you be searched on Google. It can build your audience, help you make connections and increase your ranking.
Reasons to be on Google Plus:
- Integrated Content – Google+ makes it easy to share content across all of Googles platforms (Gmail, Maps, Chrome, Google Play and YouTube)
- +1 button – If Google Plus was Facebook, the ‘+1’ button would be the same as the ‘like’ button. This is good for SEO rankings for a business. The more +1’s a page has, the more popular the page is and the higher the page ranks
- Google Circles – This feature allows users to categorize who they are following and their followers, which makes it easier to target messages to corresponding or relevant audiences. Circle examples are “Friends,” “Family,” “Work,” and “Local Businesses.” Extended circles allows friends of friends to see your shared content; again, extending your visibility and reach.
- Google Authorship – Google Authorship links your Google Plus profile to the content you create. The more you share the more visibility you get, resulting with a better ranking.
- Hangouts – are essentially group chats through text or video, allowing communication with a maximum of 10 people at once. A Hangout on Air is a broadcasted hangout that can be seen during or after the hangout. This is beneficial for promotions through email and Youtube.
- Communities – are chat forums on specific topics, products or services that are created by brands or individuals to converse and share information. Communities are good for relationship management, getting leads, building authority, creating brand awareness, and getting customer feedback.
- Events – Google Plus events are similar to Facebook events, easy to share and create, but they are more interactive. Users on other Google properties can easily transfer events to calendars and emails on Gmail and Google Calendar.
- Business Pages and Places – these help Google find your page and share your information such as, store hours, location, phone number, also providing a Google map. These are important features of Google Plus because “97% of consumers search for local businesses online.”
- Insights – are statistics for your page traffic. For example, number of views and in what area, number of interactions, and what activity worked. This is really important for businesses because it gives them feedback on their content, which allows them to alter future content to help them build authority and their audience.
Social Media Today offers some tips to optimize your Google+ usage:
- Be Visual – post engaging content, adding pictures and videos
- Start a Community – can promote users to promote knowledge, and share interests and your brand, as well as get customer feedback
- Set up Google Authorship – is a very important rank signal, and can increase rank in organic search
- Share content from a range of sources – posting and sharing adjacent content, other or related content that your customers would look at, builds your authority
- Make the most of your profile – be sure to include all your business information (including your other social media networks) on your About page on your profile and use intriguing images to captivate users attention.
- Improve the images you post – images are a good attention getters, and Google Plus offers image editing options
It is important for businesses to have an established online presence in today’s technologically integrated society. Being on as many social media platforms you can, and posting valuable and engaging content increases your visibility. Google Plus is an important growing social network to have a presence on in order to build relationships, your authority and your brand. If you don’t have an account now, you need to make one! www.google.com/+