Are You Using Google Plus in your Marketing Mix?

Google’s social media offspring is rightly enjoying the digital marketing community’s precious little love. Besides, being on Google Plus is a no brainer for small business and if you are ignoring it, be ready to suffer the consequences.

If you haven’t got it yet, Google loves its own products.And with Google enjoying 67.6 percent of the U.S. market share, being on its social media platform ensures that your business will enjoy better visibility. As a small example, Google displays posts from your friends and contacts on Google Plus in its results pages if you’re signed in while searching (who isn’t?)

If you still aren’t convinced, here is a report from Forrester claiming that it is “a more effective marketing channel than Twitter.” Google Plus users are twice as engaged as Twitter users. The report indicates that while 19 percent of the adult population is using Twitter on a monthly basis, 21 percent is accessing Google Plus in some form. Besides, in terms of social influencing power Google Plus is only second to Facebook.

What makes Google Plus So Important for Small Businesses

First and foremost, it’s a Google product and the search giant will do anything within its power to make Google Plus a success.

Google Plus offers an array of services that make it significant for small business owners especially when it comes to social signals and brand engagement. Now, you cannot trick Google into depending on social data collected from third-party sites to fuel its search algorithm. Google Plus will continue to serve the search engine as its source for social signal juice.

Besides, Google is the most popular search engine and adding Google Plus into your digital marketing mix is a must if you want to survive the game of digital power and influence. The following are a few reasons why you should consider using Google Plus in your marketing mix:

  • This platform includes various social tools from Google such as Google+ Circles, Hangouts, and other social communities. As a result, the social signals it helps you create significantly impact your search engine rankings.
  • Images and videos you share on Google Plus become automatically adaptive to any screen size, thanks to its responsive design features.

How Small Businesses can Grow Leveraging Google Plus

Before we further discuss on how to leverage this social media platform to grow your small business, it is important to understand a simple fact. Google Plus is not an alternative to Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform. But it can definitely help you discover new people (read target audience), increase online visibility, establish social authority and enhance customer engagement. In short, it can help you grow your business.

Here’s how:

1.  Create a Google My Business Page

Create a My Business Page using your Google Plus profile and don’t forget to write a few things about your business, including:

  • A small description, giving details of your business (it’s like a brief ‘About Us’)
  • The kind of product & services your business offers

This information will be used as your meta description when Google displays your Business Page in local and other search results. Your Google Plus Business Page therefore plays a crucial role in your SEO strategy.

Make sure all information about your business is updated and appropriate. In addition to your basic bio, also include information like your website URL, physical address, phone number, hours of operation, and other relevant information.

Share informative and interest posts, ideas, experiences and photos with your followers. Focus on quality content that enhances customer engagement. To better reach out to your target audience, add your products, special offers and coupon codes on Google My Business. You can also respond directly to customer reviews from your page. In short, this is a great way to manage your brand online.

2.  Reach Your Target Audience using Google Circles

Google Circles is a great place to find targeted Plus users and add them to the most appropriate segments that you want to target. You can break down each circle by geography, demographics, contact categories or any other ways that you deem fit.

You can provide tailored content to each group or ‘circle’. Moreover, you can send targeted posts to a specific Circle.

3.  Be Innovative with Google Hangouts

Think Google Hangouts is only to chat with friends and peers? We have moved beyond that. Small business owners can take advantage of the free video chat feature of Google Hangouts to improve customer engagement. Better yet, you can add up to ten people in your video call.

This mean, you can leverage Google Hangouts to hold virtual meetings and conferences with employees, remote workers and offshore clients or partners without spending a fortune on installing expensive unified communication and collaboration applications.

It even allows participants to share and view documents. All conversations on Google Hangouts are saved and stored for later use. The recording is publicly available on Google Plus as well as on your YouTube channel; you can even share them seamlessly on other social channels.

In Conclusion

Google Plus is a great platform to influence your search engine visibility. Consider it as a part traffic generation and part branding strategy. Besides, the way Google has been evolving over the past two or three years, it will likely become even more difficult to get search traffic from Google if you fail to include Google Plus in your digital marketing mix.

Last Updated: Sun Apr 3 12:25:43 2016

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