When I say social media, you automatically think of Facebook. Well Google, being the most widely used search engine (3.5 billion searches per day), decided to create their own answer to Facebook; Google+.
With over 170 million active users, Google+ offers businesses a great way to connect with their audience in a similar way to Facebook, only Google+ has an added bonus that allows companies to improve their organic search results.
Similar to Facebook’s ‘like’ button, Google+ has developed the ‘+1’ and it holds more power than the ‘like’ button. Google incorporate the +1’s into their algorithm so that the more +1’s a page generates, the higher it will rank and show up sooner in searches.
Rather than settling down in Facebook’s shadow (like other social networks), Google has established the Google+ network that businesses can use to connect with potential customers as part of the search engine they are most likely using to search for your company.
In this post we have included the main dos and don’ts of Google+ that should guide you towards gaining extra followers and generate more +1’s to improve your search ranking:
THE DON’TS OF GOOGLE+:
Don’t Run Contests or Promotional Offers Directly Through Google+ –
Unlike other social platforms, Google+ doesn’t allow you to run any contests or promotional offers directly through their site. You can advertise these promotions on Google+ by including external links to your other social profiles in your Google+ posts.
Never Assume Your Page is Already Google Verified –
Just because you are setting up your company page through Google, doesn’t mean you are automatically verified. Google requires you to take the initiative to get your company page verified as an official brand page. You must get verified asap in order to protect your credibility.
Don’t Allow Employees to Link Directly to Your Page –
Now this one is open to argument as there can be some benefits to employees linking directly to your business profile. When someone sees an employee directly recommended your company, it comes across as an obligatory referral rather than one generated by interest or customer satisfaction.
I recommend only allowing employees to to share and +1 your content on Google+, and allow your content to prove it’s worth for your industry and what you can do to help them.
Never Post Boring, Text-Heavy content That Screams “Sales Pitch” –
No matter what social network you’re on, boring content will be ignored. Google+ users are akin to Facebook users in the sense that you are okay to post humorous content that doesn’t necessarily relate to your business directly.
Consistent posting and a sense of humour can go a long way in increasing the likeability of your business, and can improve your following and +1’s. Any posts that come across too ‘salesy’, you are much more unlikely to retain followers because you are continuously offering the same thing.
Consumers can spot a sales pitch a mile off especially on social media. Boring content will be ignored, so give your followers what they want, and have some fun with it.
The Dos of Google+:
Include Your Homepage in Your Google+ Local Listing –
Google+ is the your ticket to simple SEO improvements and will improve your company’s visibility on Google search. When creating your Google+ local listing, simply add the URL of your homepage and your company will show up in both the regular Google search, and Google Maps too.
Engage in Active Groups and Communities –
With all social media efforts, the main method for gaining followers is engagement. Try joining active groups and communities to share content that is of interest to the particular groups. Whilst engaging you are creating strong relationships with your biggest ‘fans’ and anyone else whom may have interest in your business.
Always share information similar to what other users post in the groups. This creates a mutually beneficial relationship for all users and sharing content is essential as any content a person shares, it will be seen by everyone in their circles. Share, share, and be shared should be the motto.
Utilise the ‘Circles’ Feature –
Google+ like to do it their own way when it comes to groups and communities. They introduced a ‘circles’ feature which allows your to sort through your followers into separate groups, and share information directly with a group(s) or individual.
Aim to segment your followers into appropriate ‘circles’ so that you can appeal to certain followers on a more personal level than the other social networks, which should improve lead generation for your business.
You Need to Incorporate Google+ Into Your Other Web Pages –
Your #1 reason for joining Google+ is to generate as many +1’s as possible. Whenever a users +1’s your profile page, their contacts become aware to your content and makes it more likely for your content to be seen by similar users.
Also, the increased SEO from Google+ will build authority and the results over time could be exponential. You need to incorporate Google+ into your blog and other social content to drive traffic to your Google+ page. Bear in mind, websites using the +1 button generate over three times the Google+ visits than sites without the button.
How is your business using Google+ for marketing? – Let us know in the comments below.