Social media is becoming an increasingly important tool for businesses of all kinds. While there are many social networks from which to choose, there is one that has distinguished itself from the pack. Google+, a relatively new social media outlet, has already proved itself an extremely useful tool for businesses looking to improve their social media plans.
With the recent availability of Google+ through Google Apps, it’s now easier than ever for businesses already running on the Google cloud network to take advantage of everything the social network has to offer.
With a Google+ page, your business can utilize promotion tools, increase sharing capabilities, and easily monitor your progress. Google+ has a number of features that set it apart from other social networks, although its ability to significantly improve your business’ communication and collaboration with customers is probably its biggest advantage.
Promoting your Business with Google Plus
Promotion on Google+ is easy, and it’s something in which both you and your customers can take part. Your business can take advantage of the Google+ badge and the Google+ icon to notify people of your presence on the social network. Both the badge and the icon can be easily placed on your website.
By clicking on your Google+ badge, customers can add your business’ page to their circles without leaving your website, while clicking on your Google+ icon will take customers directly to your business’ page on Google+. And for customers who have already visited your page and want to return, finding it again is easier than ever with Google direct connect.
Now that you’ve promoted your Google+ presence, it’s time for customers to take part in the action too. By giving your business a +1, people are sharing the fact that they support your work and would recommend it to others. With a Google+ page for your business, it’s easy to link all of your +1s – those for your page, your website, and your advertisements -so that they all show up when anyone searches for your business.
People searching for your business can not only see how many people have +1’d your business, but also who has done so. The ability to visually see all of your +1s and satisfied customers is a great recommendation tool for people who are just learning about your business.
Google Plus and Social Media Planning
- Promoting your business and your presence on Google+ is essential for your social media plan, but it’s equally important that you maintain contact with people already in your network. Google+ makes this part of your social media plan simple with tools like the stream, circles, and hangouts.
The stream on Google+ allows you to share information in a variety of formats (text, videos, photos). Your business can choose to make this information public and share it with everyone, or you can designate a specific group of people with whom to share.
You can identify this group of people by grouping followers into circles. With circles, you can group people based on categories. Your business may choose to create a circle for regular customers and another for potential customers or circles based on location – the possibilities are endless. By grouping people into circles, you gain the ability to send out specifically targeted messages (i.e. a special you are running that only applies to a specific group of people).
Google Plus Tools:
While using the stream and circles are great ways to connect with customers on Google+, the hangouts feature is what will take your business’ communication and collaboration to a new level. Hangouts enables you to engage in multi-person video chat and screen-sharing, making real-time collaboration simple and enjoyable.
If your business is putting a lot of effort into social media, it’s important to track your efforts and see what you’re doing well and where you can improve. Google accounted for this when it created ripples and analytics for Google+. The ripples tool makes it easy to follow the path information takes on the social network once you send it out. You can see things like who is paying attention to information and who is sharing content your business has sent out.
This tool allows you to see what type of posts work best and who the best people are with whom to share information. In addition to ripples, you can use analytics to track your business’ progress by viewing all of the activity on your Google+ page, including all the +1s for your business, in one place.
Because Google+ offers enhanced promotional tools, engaging methods to interact with customers, and simple ways to monitor your progress, having a presence on this network is sure to improve your business’ social media efforts.
Do you use Google Plus or Google Apps to promote your business ?
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