With 300 million active users, Google Plus is quickly becoming a necessary part of every social media strategy. Currently the second largest social network in the world, Google Plus was made for relationship building. It allows you to find and connect with people who have the same interests and passions you do. What better way to find potential customers, or bond with the ones you already have? As if all of that weren’t enough, Google Plus provides a gateway to Google search and supports your search marketing strategy.
You have created your business page, right? What comes next? Here are five things you should do right away.
1. Build out your business profile
This is pretty self-explanatory. The more interesting you make your business profile the more people will want to visit your page. Make sure to verify your business and claim your vanity URL to make your company easy to find. Add your contact info, location, hours and all of the typical information a customer might search for. Then be sure to personalize your page with a unique cover image and profile picture. This is the first impression people have when they come to your page so spend the time to make it eye catching rather than just choosing from the standard Google Image options. You can also add photos and connect your page to a YouTube channel if your business has one.
2. Personalize your Circles
Google gives you the opportunity to segment the people that you chose to follow into different folders, called Circles. Google provides standard Circles in which to place your customers and connections in but why stop there? You can add as many circles as you want. One of the most important factors in marketing is targeting, and circles can help you to narrow down and target your connections. You can select exactly which circle you want to share each individual post with, allowing you to diversify your social media marketing. We recommend setting up Industry News, Customers, Team Members, and Brand Advocates to start off with. A Google Plus profile can be placed in multiple circles as well so you can further segment your customers as your following grows.
3. Connect, Connect, Connect
Find your existing customers, local businesses and vendors on Google Plus, add your employees, and try to find the people who already are following you on your other social media pages. The more people you connect with the better the reach your message and posts will have.
4. Develop a content strategy
Figure out what it is you’re going to use Google Plus for. You could add blog posts, business updates, blog teasers, industry news or a combination of all these things. However, you should have a plan, or even better, a content calendar. For example commit to posting at least one blog post a month, with four teaser posts in between. Have a clear idea of how many posts you should have a week and when you’re going to schedule them. The best time to share on Google Plus is 9-11 am. Another great way to promote your business is by commenting on industry leaders’ blog posts and other things they have shared.
5. Find relevant communities
Google Plus offers a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded people who share your interests. They do this through communities. Communities are somewhat similar to groups on LinkedIn but, the bonus Google provides is that you can comment on communities as a business page, whereas on LinkedIn, you can only comment as an individual. There are tons of communities on Google + for every possible subject and interest. If you go to the communities section of your profile Google will suggest some for you. This is great for a multitude of reasons. It offers a great help resource as you continue to grow your business page (we like the plus your business community) but it also offers you an opportunity to connect with industry leaders and new customers. By finding the influencers in your industry you can comment on their posts and reach thousands of new people. Communities is also a good resource for promoting blogs and thoughtful content to share with people who have already proven to be interested in what you’re talking about. Make sure to follow the appropriate spam guidelines though. You’re trying to promote discussion and make a good impression, so don’t over-sell.