Over its nearly 3 years of existence, Google’s social platform has exceeded earlier expectations and has now become a respected partner in the digital arena. So the question becomes how do you buddy up to this social giant and improve your social visibility in the online space? Here are 10 strategies any brand can use to market their small business on Google+:
5 Do’s of Google+
1. Know Your Audience. As with any marketing effort, it is crucial to know your audience and speak their language. When customizing your content, think like your target demographic and not like your sales team. As a customer, what would you want to know and how would you be willing to participate?
2. Consistent Branding. Uniformity is crucial for a business’s branding identity. You want to keep this consistent across every marketing channel, both online and off, to raise brand awareness and increase consumer confidence. This includes personalizing your page URL as well as branding your cover photo and profile picture.
3. Promote Your Google+ Page. Cross-functionality really does come in handy when you are trying to stamp your online presence. A study stated that websites that use of Google’s +1 button generated 3.5 times more traffic from Google+ than websites that don’t have the button on their website.
4. Develop A Voice. An effective message can be the determining factor whether a customer is drawn in to learn more, or is immediately turned off. Google+ is a visual platform, meaning that the interface allows for bigger photo options paired with your content. Create a content calendar to track your process of trial and error.
5. Get Involved. Users want to engage in a virtual community where they can be advocates, share ideas, and get the latest scoop on new product offerings and services. It’s time to talk back to them. Next time, write a comment on someone’s post. This will help show your expertise and help you establish trust. Also, try joining communities to exchange news, ideas, and make new connections in your neighborhood.
5 Don’ts on Google+
1. Over Brand Yourself. A busy social media page can turn your audience away, fast and in a hurry. Try to stick to the 80/20 rule – 80% is content relevant to your audience while 20% is self-promotional. Google+ is a social community so act social and give a shout out to others in your industry by mentioning them within your updates by typing their name after the + symbol. Also add trending hashtags to your status updates to help achieve higher exposure. . Remember to stick to your content calendar, and make posts when it’s a peak time for your business, typically between 9am -11am is highest traffic time.
2. Get Personal. Like the old saying goes, keep business separate from pleasure! I promise you, unless you are a political or religious organization, nobody wants to hear your personal opinions. That will lose you followers and engagement quicker than just about anything else.
3. Incomplete Profile. Under the profile “About” tab, brands have the chance to tell their own story to not only potential customers, but the search engines. Not only does a complete profile increase consumer confidence but it also gives Google, more information to ‘grade’ you on.
4. Generic Profile Picture. Make sure to upload a professional cover photo and profile picture to brand your identity. Not only does this increase brand awareness but it also raises your credibility as an expert.
5. Forget Your Google+ Button. You want to make sure your product pages, blog posts, website, and other landing pages have easy access to a Google+ button. This simple +1 feature allows people to discover and share relevant from your site. Ultimately, Google+ is still in its infancy; however your Google+ page can go a long way in marketing your business, generating buzz, and putting up points on the “coolness” scoreboard. The key is to focus on how to create content and engage your audience to provide value to both parties. Is it starting to click in your entrepreneurial wheelhouse?
About the author: Leah Rise is the Director of Search and Social for a Sydney-based agency. She has spent 6 years in the digital marketing arena and works with 70+ clients globally on how to leverage social media to help boost online visibility. As a Florida State Seminole and Disney nerd, Leah enjoys traveling with her wolfdog Simba. Connect with Leah on Google+.