As much as many of us have run kicking and screaming from Google+, it sure is here to stay. It’s been a very useful tool for many businesses. Check out how +HM and +CadburyUK have been using the platform successfully in these case studies.
There is a lot of power in Google+ from establishing your personal brand to corporate brand, as well as improving your company’s search engine result presence. Here are 6 ways to get started:
1. Connect your personal page to your content with Authorship
Have you searched on Google lately and seen headshots next to seemingly random search results? This is a result of Google+ Authorship connection. By connecting your personal Google+ page with the content you create, your image can appear in the search results. This has been shown to improve click-through rate, as users love to click links with thumbnail images.
2. Set up Direct Connect for your website
Direct connect lets you search through to a Google+ page and add it to your circles by adding the ‘+’ operator before the brand name. To make this connection for your Google+ business page, you have to be “special” in Google’s eyes, but there are a few tricks to speed along this process. To assist Google in understanding your website and Google+ page are connected, add the Google+ badge to your site or by adding a snippet of code to your site. Your website link on your Google+ page should also match your website exactly, meaning, check if your website includes ‘www’ or not.
3. Use your Google+ Business Page to Connect & Engage
Businesses are so successful on social media when they connect and engage with their followers. Google+ still is evolving, but spend time adding people to your circles (create many different types of circles, too!), commenting on relevant posts, asking questions and sharing images. Share information you create and that others create that would be useful to your followers, always staying true to your brand image. Feel free to get a little goofy on Friday’s and use this platform to find out pressure points from potential customers!
4. Host Google+ Hangouts
This is probably one of the coolest features of Google+ and a key differentiator (for the time being). Google+ Hangouts are live video chats you can have internally (maybe your company is all over the world) or with your customers. I recommend using these to connect with your key influencers – offer them an opportunity to chat with your CEO or offer input about your product. You can set up invites and send them out publically or privately to specific people or circles and are a great way to build brand loyalty. The ways you can use Google+ hangouts are limitless, so get creative – this is an affordable way to product content!
5. Use Hashtags (like on Twitter)
A hashtag is a word or a phrase preceded by the # symbol — for example, #Emmys — that helps people find and join conversations about a particular topic. Clicking on a hashtag will show related content on Google+ (or Twitter…or Facebook). You use hashtags to group relevant information and can either use a current hashtag or create your own to represent your own idea or event. You can search these hashtags on Google+ to find relevant and recent posts. Just don’t start using hashtags out loud in conversation – see Late Night with Jimmy Fallon #hashtag skit.
Have you used these Google+ Business Tips? Share your experiences below in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!