Google’s search engine has become so popular that the word “google” is now a verb that’s used to describe seeking information online. As such, people commonly use Google to discover information about businesses and products. Google+ is the search giant’s new social networking tool, and you can now create company pages to communicate with customers, share breaking news, and inform them of promotions to increase exposure for your business. Here, we’ll examine the key benefits of Google+ brand pages.
Top Of The List
Google’s search engine offers a number of ways to bring people to your Google+ brand page. For example, Google+ Direct Connect is a feature that allows people to add a plus sign (+) to the beginning of a Google search, followed by your business name, to automatically route the customer to your Google+ page—for example as “+Pepsi” would bring up Pepsi’s Google+ page. Google+ brand pages are also included in Google’s search results, so customers unfamiliar with the + query can still find company pages using a traditional search. Google is also incorporating Google+ features into its Gmail, Chrome, and Android platforms, such as the Google+ extension for Chrome and an app for Android smartphones.
Real-Time Video Chat
Google Hangouts is another key feature of Google+ brand pages, because Hangouts gives your customers and clients a chance to talk with your fans about your business.
You can invite up to 10 people for a video conference. For instance, let’s say you run a small garden nursery, and you have a group of loyal visitors who have begun asking you questions about what’s best to plant in their backyards. You could have a weekly discussion, such as every Wednesday afternoon, where an employee would be available to video chat with customers and answer their questions. Or let’s say you run a gourmet food retailer and want to get people involved in the best ways to utilize your products. You could host a weekly video chat hangout where you actively prepare the dish and answer any questions viewers have. The Hangouts feature is also ideal for things such as announcements and contests.
Photos, Images & More
Google+ offers built-in integration with YouTube, which is where many businesses store their online videos, and Picasa, which is Google’s photo-sharing website. The integration makes it simple to share videos and images throughout multiple online venues. By comparison, link integration is possible with Twitter and Facebook, but the process requires more work, such as shortening the Web address or sending the customer away from your brand page. The multimedia options help you engage customers that visit.
With Circles, Google+ automatically provides group options for Following, Customers, VIP, and Team Members. This way, you can categorize consumers and clients to prevent spamming followers with messages that may or may not apply to them. For instance, special promotions can be limited to a VIP group. Google+ lets you set up custom circles, so you could separate followers by key demographics, such as women ages 35 to 50, or having different circles for the different types of products you offer.
GOOGLE+ DO’s & DON’Ts
Here are some quick tips you should think about when posting content to your Google+ page.
- Do update your Google+ brand page with important announcements, new products, and other exciting news.
- Do set up Circles and create posts tailored to the given demographic.
- Do incorporate videos and photos that will help build your business’ image.
- Don’t spam your Circles with news that won’t help build your brand or interest clients.
- Don’t attempt to sell something with every post because you want readers to interact with your business.
- Don’t ignore comments from followers; reader engagement is valuable to your business.