Why bother with Google+?

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You may think Google is the only thing Google+ has got going for it, but put a little effort in getting a kick-ass profile together and reap the #socialmedia rewards…

It’s easy to get lost in the veritable extravaganza of social media tools businesses can use to get their name out there. For most of us, we’ve just got to grips with what Facebook and Twitter can do for us.

A few years ago when Google+ came on to the scene, I rolled my eyes and thought: “Not another one.” And like many of you I registered a profile and pretty much popped in once every few months just to see what all the fuss was about to find that perhaps in that time only one friend or acquaintance had joined and very much wanted to include me in their circle.

Much as you’re going to wish I didn’t say it. You do need to include Google+ in your mix of social media tools IF the following things are important to you:
1. Search Having a Google+ profile and sharing relevant, new information regularly on this profile will propel up the ranks of search engine results. And like it or not, over 85% of the world’s Internet users choose Google as their preferred search engine.
2. Right-hand man Google a large travel company and watch how it is displayed in the right-hand column with a map indicating branches and details of the company plus logo. This achieved through having a strong Google+ page.
3. Sharing Not all likes are born equal. Google gives more preference to content that has been shared through Google+ than through Facebook. What’s more, if a user has included your company profile within their circles, your brand will pop up in their personal search results.
4. Content You can create follow buttons, +1 like buttons, create events, send out surveys and interact with your community. You can tailor your content for each circle and that’s extremely powerful targeted marketing.

Convinced? Here are some handy tips on how to get started:
• SET UP Set up a Google+ business page. Google makes it super easy and all you need to view is follow the step-by-step instructions: https://plus.google.com/pages/create.
• CUSTOMISE Now it’s time to optimise your Google+ page. Don’t forget to create a ‘vanity URL’ for your company as Google simply assigns an unmemorable URL unless you personalise it for you business. It also helps in your search results to customise it. Use proper SEO keywords throughout your page, as well as craft a proper business tagline.
• LINKS Time to link your Google+ Page with your website and social networks. Here’s how: http://ow.ly/seC2w
• SHARE So you’ve built it, now you’ve got to get relevant people to visit it. First step would be to add your page to your own circles and share links to your content in your own social networks, i.e. if you have a large Twitter following be sure to upload your content in Google+ and link back to that content in your tweet. Ask your staff to do the same. Encourage your customers to find you on Google+.
• CIRCLES The beauty of Google+ is that it allows you to create different circles with users that share different interests. You can create and share content with specific circles based on their preferences and that’s very powerful targeted marketing. Simply go to your Profile tab in the top left corner and click on ‘People’ to search for and add your best customers to your Google+ circles.

And finally if you’re getting your circles confused with your hashtags, check out this handy glossary on Google+ terms: http://ow.ly/seC1e