The world of social media continues expanding, bringing us new ideas and avenues to communicate. Most of us have heard of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, three of the most widely used social media platforms. But there’s one more that emerged on the scene early last year: Google+. You may have heard about Google+, and wondered what it is and if you should take the time to add it to your business’ social media presence. Here, we will break down the what, why, and howof Google+ for your business.
WHAT is Google+?
- Google+ is a social media platform created by Google to combine the best features of other social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube) into an all-in-one package.
- One unique feature Google+ offers is the ability to organize friends into “circles”, which gives you more control over who sees what posts.
- There are the standard commenting, photos, and video abilities, with a few perks like Picasa being integrated into the platform so you can edit your photos right in Google+.
- A few other features include Sparks (a way of finding interest content on the web), Hangout (essentially video chat), and Huddle (group chat on your phone to avoid those confusing group text conversations).
WHY is Google+ smart for businesses?
- Traffic. According to a recent Hubspot study, businesses using Google+ saw 3.5 times more traffic on their website than businesses not using Google+.
- Networking. This may seem obvious, but more exposure is never a bad thing. Some companies have even been strategically using Google+ to generate leads.
- The ability to segment your audience. Circles allow you to very specifically target your audience with posts and content that will interest them.
- Last but not least: SEO. Google+ is indexed by Google, so simply having a Google+ account – and having followers – makes it possible to see an increase in your search rankings.
HOW can your business use Google+ effectively?
- As with all things related to your business on the Internet, update regularly – at least once a week.
- Add the “+1” icon to your blog and website. It works the same way a Facebook “share” button or Pinterest “Pin It” button would, except the number of users engaging with your content via Google+ will boost your search rankings.
- Share. It’s social media 101, but sharing is how you connect with your audience to add value and engage them. You are curating information to share with people following you, so provide a variety of information that will be interesting to your audience AND relevant to your message: links, videos, reports, articles, tips, ideas, etc. Just remember that what you share will impact the way your audience perceives your business.
- This website is a great resource to go more in-depth on using Google+ for your business.
Google+ is still a relatively new social network, and as such is still developing. What feedback do you have about using Google+? How have you used it, and what has been successful for you? Share your thoughts in our comments section below.