Many people are still skeptical about joining Google Plus especially businesses that have already invested significant time and money building their networks on Facebook and Twitter. I am not saying you should give up on Twitter and Facebook, but it is always good not to put all your eggs in one basket. According to the Digital Buzz, there are now over 500 million users on Google Plus and growing. It is also interesting to note that Google Plus active users spend about 60 minutes a day on the social platform.
If you are a business owner or a marketing practitioner, here are five benefits you can reap by being active on Google Plus:
You Can Claim Authorship of Your Content
Content creators know how much work goes into writing and producing great and useful content on any business website or blog. With complaints regarding plagiarism on the rise, I highly recommend claiming your authorship. It is really simple:
- Create a Google+ Profile and upload a high quality headshot and fill out the profile information.
- Go to plus.google.com/authorship, sign up with your email and click on the verification link that Google will send you.
The biggest advantage of doing this is if people search for a particular content, your Google Plus profile will be displayed including your photos and a brief description of who you are. If they like your content, there is a high probability people will add you to their circles to allow them to receive updates from you or your business.
Your Business Can Be Found Locally -
If you have a brick and mortar shop, creating a Google Plus account will help users discover your business through Google + Local. Google Plus Local pages are indexed in Google Search results so when people search for places to eat or buy products and services, they can easily see reviews and recommendations from people who have experienced your service or product in the past. You really missing out on a valuable promotional opportunity if your competitor’s product or service is available on Google + Local an yours is not. Make sure you include all the pertinent information about your business to get the most out of this feature.
You Can Receive Feedback About Your Service or Product Easily
Google Plus launched “Communities“ to allow businesses to reach out and directly solicit feedback from customers or potential clients in a meaningful way. Private and public communities can be created where businesses can post photos and videos about their service, products and industry news members can earn from, interact with and share with friends and family.
Google Plus Influences Your Search Ranking
Have you ever tried searching for your name or business name on Google search? I have and I do it regularly just to track the conversation happening around my brand. You should be doing this too to monitor what is being said about your brand or business. If you search for a topic on Google search, you will notice if that brand has a Google Plus page and that page will be highlighted in a big box on the right side of the search page.
To help get discovered faster, you will need to:
- Update your status on a regular basis
- Use hashtags relevant to your brand, topic or industry
- Complete your information on your bio or about page with a clear photo or logo image
Free Tools Are Available For Your Business
The beauty of using Google Plus for your business is the number of tools available to help promote and grow your business.
1. Plus 1 buttons and widgets for your site – In the stats I shared earlier from Digital Buzz, it is worth noting that the +1 button is used 5 million times a day. Make sure to add a “+1″ button on your posts so people can share your content easily on their Google Plus pages and recommend your articles to people in their circles. I also recommend you add an “add me” button on your website to allow people to follow your updates easily. You can check out the available widgets and gadgets here.
2. Social reports - There are several social reports available for businesses and brands to monitor your activities in the social sphere. Social reports help you measure the impact social media has on your business goals and conversions. Integrated web and social data provides a holistic view of your content and community.
3. Google Hang Outs - Let’s you connect with your colleagues, communities and customers via a video chat. Google Hang Outs is a great way you can have face to face conversations both privately and publicly. Collaborate in real-time, share ideas and even do product demos. What is so cool about this feature is that you can record the conversation so it can be viewed at a later time.
4. Bonus tool: Do Share - Allows you to schedule your updates on Google Plus. We all know we cannot be always available to post updates. Scheduling some your updates will allow you to share more consistently and be productive too. Just make sure you continue to make time to engage in real-time and answer comments right away.
There you go, five business benefits of being active on Google Plus. Did I miss anything? Share your tips or tools by leaving a comment. We would love to hear your thoughts.