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Jul. 15, 2012

Google+ For Business

Google+ for business does a unique job blurring the lines between personal social networks such as Facebook, and business networks like LinkedIn. We know what you’re thinking, “not another social media network I need to join and keep up with”. However, before you decide stop reading, checkout the list below. Here are just a few reasons why Google+ shouldn’t be ignored.

Facebook Difference & Search Engine Results:
The BIG difference between Facebook and Google + is that you can categorize your sharing. Lots of users have posts they want to share with workers and colleagues but don’t necessarily want to share with family and friends. This is a simple, yet genius difference between the two. Features within Google + allow profiles and posts to be seen by everyone, and each “post” has its own unique URL making Google + similar to Twitter for indexable shared content. This initiative from Google proves they are taking social seriously. Merging Google properties into Google + and integrating it with the Search Engines WILL have an impact on where you company appears in Search Engine Results pages. Commonsense leans towards Google serving (rewarding) companies in their search algorithm that have Google + pages.

Sharing:
Google+ Pages will help you build a more intimate relationship with your customers by sharing your thoughts, links, photos and promotions at the right time with the right target audience. You can initiate conversations with customers by publishing posts on your stream. You will be able to engage your followers by asking direct questions and you can tailor the discussions to certain circles of specific followers or make the discussion public. Hangouts is another great way to engage your customers and colleagues. It’s a high quality video chat that allows you to interact with your followers (aka customers) face to face. This face to face interaction will allow you to get to know them, answer questions as well as get live product/service feedback. Businesses can also use Hangouts for video conferencing, push live events and seminars to customers.

Promote:
Use the Google+ badge and Google+ Direct connect to promote your site and your Google+ page. Google+ badge links your website with your Google+ page and lets others know you you’re here. It’s easiest to simply install the Google+ icon on your website and when someone likes your site and clicks the icon they will be taken directly to your Google+ page and will be able to share and follow your posts. Google+ Direct connect makes it automatic for people (your customers) to connect with you. A person simply enters a ‘+’ before your company name when searching in Google and will get directly to your Google+ page.

Others can help promote your business as well using your Google+ page. They can recommend by +1’ing your company to all their friends and followers. You can also connect your +1’s from your website to your +1’s on your Google+ page. This requires a small amount of code on your site. Installing the +1 on all your pages and your display ads is also a good way to get people to promote your company. People tend to trust recommendations from people they already know.

Measure:
Social Media data can be overwhelming but Google’s measurements tools make it easier for you to understand your Google+ activity. Such as, how many +1’s your business receives and how this affects your site traffic and what people are saying about your company and the most popular information they are sharing from your site.

Here are some Google + shortcuts that might be handy:
J = scroll down
K= scroll up
Enter = Start commenting
@Username = links to the user so that they can see it in their profile/stream
“text” = makes the text inside the brackets bold
_text_ = makes the text italics
For more information on Google + check out these links:
Google’s official guide to using Google +
Google + Help Section
Google’s introduction blogpost to Google +

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