Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool when used to its full potential, but let’s face it: personalizing your company’s profile and maximizing its audience reach basically depends on how much you can afford to spend on Facebook-specific ads and apps. Fortunately, Google+ was developed with features that allow any business owner to launch a successful social media marketing campaign. Once you’re familiar with Google+, you can use it to improve your company’s online reputation in three key ways.
1. A solid Google+ presence can boost your SEO.
Facebook and Twitter are somewhat insular in their nature. You can find anything you want within Facebook, but finding relevant results on Facebook through Google is rare. As such, Google+ is naturally much easier to integrate into your overall SEO marketing plan than Facebook or Twitter.
Integrating Google+ into your SEO strategy also allows you to develop content that’s less reliant on keyword-heavy copy and more reliant on quality copy. Of course SEO will always be around, but Google+ is helping to refine searches to quality information recommended by others. This is important because Google is starting to penalize websites that lack quality content yet still throw overloaded keywords and ads at the user.
2. With circles and +1s, anybody can easily recommend your business.
When somebody adds you or your business to their circles on Google+, you get precedence in Google searches. If you sell, say, footballs, then you’re going to be one of the first results when someone in your circle searches for sporting goods. As a part of the whole Google network, Google+ lands hits on web searches. As such, it’s important for you to build relationships with others in your industry. The surety bond company I work for is using this strategy to connect with existing clients and colleagues.
This also means that savvy marketers can garner thousands of +1s from users who have never even visited their Google+ pages. When implemented effectively, Google’s new plus system can function as an additional way for you to promote your business. Furthermore, the +1 button automatically pops up with results and allows users to easily, and instantaneously, recommend what they find. Users can now simply click “+1” whenever they like the data that pops up after a search.
3. Google+ hangouts can spark word-of-mouth recommendations.
Google+ hangouts are live video conferences in which three or more people participate. The new Muppets film is regarded as the first enterprise to have successfully used the service as a promotional tool. Leading up to its release, the movie’s reception in the press had been fairly lukewarm. Implementing Google+ hangouts left Muppets fans feeling as though they were friends of the cast and crew. The result? A much improved buzz for the film.
Remember, people are primarily interested in themselves and what your product, or marketing approach, offers them. Word-of-mouth marketing is effective, but it’s also difficult to implement if you don’t give people an opportunity to talk about themselves. The use of hangouts goes back to the golden rule of making potential customers feel as though you’re treating them special, even if it’s online. Someone who talks to Kermit the Frog face-to-face is absolutely going to tell that story again and again. Live hangouts give your Google+ audience a unique experience — one they’ll share later on.
Many lament that social media sites are becoming more complicated and time consuming. Fortunately, Google+ allows users to effectively market themselves and their enterprises while investing minimal time and money. As such, those who use Google+ to their advantage can earn reputations as industry experts.