A Guide to Google+, Today’s Hottest New Social Network
The official slogan for Google+ is “real-life sharing—rethought for the web”. Google+, is a social network operated by Google Inc, with integration across a number of Google products, including Google Buzz and Google Profiles. Started in June 2011 as a test version, its popularity has grown by leaps and bounds. Google+ notices are posted inside users’ Gmail inbox, so it’s 100% real-time Gmail deliverability. When you write about a subject on Google+ and your circle friends Google that subject, your comments and links are displayed automatically on page one of Google. No back-linking, no on-site optimization, just free traffic. All these factors make it a social media platform that is likely to stay on the scene and gain increased favour.
What’s So Special About Google Plus?
- One key element of Google+ is a focus on targeted sharing within subsets of a social group (or what Google calls ‘Circles’).
- Also within Google+ is a section specifically for viewing, managing and editing multimedia. Google+ includes an image editor, privacy options and sharing features.
- ‘Hangouts’ is Google’s new group chat feature. Instead of directly asking a friend to join a group chat, users instead click ‘start a hangout’ and they’re instantly in a video chat-room alone. At the same time, a message goes out to their social circles, letting them know that their friend is ‘hanging out’ and that they are invited to join.
Get ready to integrate Google+ into your Internet marketing strategy.
Building your Google+ Presence
Businesses are beginning to see the value of Google+ with the new Pages feature. The new Google+ brand Pages look similar to Google+ Profiles, except for the little square icon that indicates that it’s a Page rather than a Profile. Users can add brands to their circles, check out their information, and browse their photos. When users add a brand to their circles, it helps increase that brand’s follower count.
So what are you waiting for? Create a Page for your business and take advantage of Google +:
- Before you can create a Google+ Page for your business, you need a Google+ Profile. The ‘You+’ link on your Gmail dashboard will direct you to the Profile creation page.
- Choose a category to begin. Local businesses is good for smaller, less well-known businesses. Product or brand would work for companies and larger known businesses. Company, institution, or organization is mainly for businesses that don’t directly sell something, mostly not-for-profits.
- Personalize your page with a photo/logo and tagline. You can continue with an introduction, information, and contact information, and finish with a photo strip of five different photos.
- It’s time to start engaging with the Google+ community. For your business Page, you can create circles (networks), start posting information and news through your feed. You can also add your Google+ Page details to your existing website and share it via other networks.
Leveraging the + Power of Social Media
If you have your own website or online business, an efficient social profile Page using Google+ will let you explore a whole new world of social media marketing, that is not only fun, but easy and profitable.
- Google+ posts sent to “public” rank fairly well in Google search results. Merging Google properties into Google+ and integrating it with the search engines has a tremendous impact on where your company appears in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- You can manage circles—distribute clients into specific categories and share different posts, news or deals with different circles accordingly. This is a great way to connect with fans and share information with clients.
- “Hangouts” is another great way to engage your customers and colleagues. It’s a high quality video chat that allows you to interact with your fans face to face. This interaction will allow you to get to know them, answer questions as well as get live product/service feedback. Businesses can also use “Hangouts” for video conferencing, to push live events and seminars to customers.
- Use the Google+ badge to promote your site and your Google+ page. Google+ badge links your website with your Google+ page and lets others know you’re here. When a visitor likes your site and clicks the icon they will be taken directly to your Google+ page and will be able to share and follow your posts.
- Google+ Direct allows people to simply enter a ‘+’ before your company name when searching on Google and get directly to your Google+ page.
- The +1 button on Google+ is an ideal way to have customers spread the word about your business and its presence on Google+. You can also connect your +1’s from your website to your +1’s on your Google+ page. People tend to trust recommendations from people they already know.
- “Ripples” is a Google+ tool that allows you to watch your posts and information as they travel across social networks. You can easily determine who is sharing your content and who is paying attention to it.
- With “analytics”, you can get information about your page’s followers, visitors, and the general traffic and social activity around your business.
Google+ for business is unique in that it has blurred the lines between personal social networks such as Facebook, and business networks like LinkedIn. Contact WSI Thames to help you invigorate you web presence with the social media game changer—Google+.