02 January 2015
Does Google+ send you gaga?
Just another social network that no one uses? If this is your impression of Google+ then you might want to think again. As the world’s largest search engine, the games that Google plays are generally ones you want to be playing too, so it’s worth taking another look at what Google+ is all about.
You’ve probably already been invited to join Google+ and decided to spend your time elsewhere. However, it might be wise for small businesses, who rely so heavily on search engines i.e. Google to drive business to their sites, to invest a little bit of time and energy getting started. It might also surprise you just how many people are already there!
The party is growing
The number of people already using Google+ is pretty large. Forbes did their own poll and asked 60,000 US adults which social media sites they used, 22 per cent said they visited Google+ each month, which is roughly the same number who said they use Twitter, and more than LinkedIn, Pinterest or Instagram.
They did a further study into brand engagement by looking at more than three million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven social networks. The result? Brands’ Google+ posts generated nearly as much engagement per follower as their Facebook posts — and almost twice as much engagement per follower as their Twitter posts. Impressive, huh?
What’s more, most social relationship platforms can automatically syndicate all your Facebook posts directly into Google+, meaning once you’ve set up your Google+ page it takes almost no extra work to maintain.
Connect with the right customers
Generally speaking, Google+ is not the place where people post their old school pics and baby photos, so you can stay focused on business and not have to wade through images of cute cats. Unlike other social networks, Google+ also lets you reach out to potential customers, rather than waiting for them to find you, or paying mega bucks fishing for customers with ads. Once you start gathering your followers you can then segment them more effectively in ‘circles’ and start tailoring the right messages for the right groups.
Boost your SEO
However, it’s not all about networking. Perhaps the biggest hidden benefit of it all is that being active on Google+ improves your rankings on Google’s search engine. Content you post to your Google+ page can rank in search results in instances where your website may not. It’ll also outdo content that you post on other social media networks. You can boost your rankings even further if you’re perceived to be a voice of authority on a subject. You can achieve this by simply ensuring you have a lot of people in your circles listening to what you have to say.
The key is plugging away at it. If you want your allotment to produce veggies, you need to tend to it regularly. The same goes for Google+. Post content regularly and use hash tags that are relevant to your services, industry and to the content you're posting. This will help your customers to find you and will also rank above content from other social media sites in searches.
If you’re keen to give it a go, this blog will walk you through the process step by step. Just don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Google+ is not the be all and end all of social media, but if you’re a small business it can play a pretty influential part.