Google’s social media platform, Google+, can be a powerful tool for building up your company’s online presence and securing a loyal customer base. Creating an accurate, up-to-date Google+ page for your business and using it to strategically engage your target audience can help you stay competitive. Learn how to harness Google+ to your advantage.
Creating Your Account
The first and most important step in building a useful Google+ presence is to create your account. You’ll need to create a business account, as opposed to a personal account. To create a business account in Google+, first make sure your business is registered with Google. Log into your existing Google account and navigate to Services. Click on Google Places, then add a new business. Google will try to locate your business based on your phone number. If your business location is already indexed with Google, all you need to do is confirm that the information is correct. After you’ve verified that your business appears in Google’s search results, go to Google My Business and select “create a business account” from the drop-down menu in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Once you’ve created a Google+ account, you can specify what type of business you have and add relevant information, including keywords and a custom URL. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, it’s a good idea to link your Google+ business page with your Google+ Local page. That way, when customers search for businesses local to your area, your business will appear in their regular Google search results and in the Google+ interface.
Streamlining Your Online Presence
There are a few easy things you can do to increase the effectiveness of your Google+ page. Be sure to delete older Google+ pages for your business that may contain information that is outdated or irrelevant. When potential clients search for you, you want your current business page to be the first one they see. In other words, your current Google+ page should be the only one that links to your business name and address. Though Google+ has its advantages, there’s no need to rely on it completely for your social networking. A better idea is to link your business’s Google+ page with your business’s pages on other social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. You should also link to your company’s homepage. Links to and from your company website to different social media applications can help increase your company’s visibility in search engines. This diversity will also help you reach a wider range of customers. Including a few high-quality images on your Google+ page is also a good way to make your business more attractive to potential customers. According to Google as of 2017, businesses that have meaningful visual elements on their Google+ pages receive 35% more clicks through to their company websites than those that didn’t have images. Make sure your images are professional-looking; don’t use grainy, poorly lit or blurry images, and ensure that you have the rights to all of the photos that you are using.
Actively Targeting Your Audience
Google+ is a social media platform, so to get the most out of it you’ll want to embrace the social aspects. Target your audience by paying attention to the overall demographics and interest base of your followers. Google allows you to view how customers are finding your business and how they tend to arrive at your Google+ page. Information like this can come in handy later on if you want to devise a social media-based marketing campaign. Update the content on your page frequently. This lets customers know that your business is active and that you have an interest in communicating with your customer base. Communicating directly with your customers for example, by responding to reviews is also a great way to show that you care about visitors’ opinions and are taking their experiences into account when it comes to improving and evolving your business. Google+ uses a system called “circles,” which allows personal users and businesses alike to place followers and connections into cohesive groups. Users can then opt to share certain content within particular circles. This means that Google+ offers a uniquely targeted option for sharing messages, photos, and content. Businesses in particular can use circles to their advantage by offering content that is uniquely tailored to their customer base, or even to particular segments of that customer base. Circles can help you better understand the strategies of competing businesses. If you operate a nonprofit, you may even use circles to team up with and share ideas among organizations with similar missions. As of 2017, Google+ includes collections and communities that allow users to follow accounts according to specific interests. Collections showcase content that falls under a specified umbrella category, while communities allow users to follow other users with similar interests and relevant content, effectively creating a customized online community. Encouraging customers to add your business page to a collection or a community increases your visibility and potential for organic link building. Google+ can be an invaluable tool for brick-and-mortar businesses as well as web-based brands. Use it strategically, in conjunction with other social media platforms, to build a cohesive and attractive online presence for your company.