If you’ve been wondering how to use Google Plus for business online marketing, you aren’t alone. It’s one of the newest social networking sites available and is steadily gaining a market share. While Facebook has its long history of being the number one in social marketing, Google has a wealth of free tools available; Gmail, online calendars, free blogging platforms as well as webmaster tools and Analytics web stats – all of this is available to you with one login. Google is unifying the web.
Do you have a business page?
Google Plus is still in its ‘early adopter’ stage, so it well may be that many of your customers and potential audience aren’t on Google Plus yet themselves. This doesn’t mean you should wait until everyone has jumped on board; sign up and set up your business page so that you are ahead of the pack, you could be the first business in your industry and location with a page. It’s important to create a good first impression so make sure your page has all the information you would need for a first point of contact. You can link to your primary website, Twitter and Facebook pages from here, so it becomes an all-encompassing hub of information about your brand or business.
Join the conversation
Start following like-minded individuals and businesses to get in on the conversation. In many cities, there are ‘public circles’ that will already have hundreds of members, join one of those, and you will already be sharing with local people with similar interests. Once your customer base gains awareness of your new page, you can start ‘hangouts’. This is like a group chat facility with the ability to add video to the mix. It’s important that your business finds it’s ‘Google Plus ‘ voice. Don’t assume that what might work on Facebook or Twitter will work here. Have a look at other brands and pages in a similar industry; maybe in a different area or overseas to get an idea of how people are engaging their customers. For more information about finding your customer engagement style, see one of our previous articles here: What is your customer engagement style? Segmentation of your contact lists is also an excellent way of communicating to specific groups of customers. Think of circle names like ‘repeat customers’, ‘referrers’ and ‘previous colleagues’ for example – that way you can send specific messages to the people that want to read them.
In Facebook, it’s easy to create your own URL for customers to find you easily. There is no such built in facility in Google Plus, however there are a few services that can create one for you, so that you can brand your URL should you need to. gplus.to is an easy one. You simply choose your chosen ‘nickname’, insert your Google Plus page URL and it immediately creates a short URL that is easy to remember. For things like email signatures and on your website, simply use a Google Plus logo for people to click on.