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May 23, 201310:59 AMThe Web Chef's Cafe

with Paul Gibler

Google+: a plus or minus among your social media platforms?

(page 2 of 2)

What to do

Before you can create a business page, you’ll need to have a personal page. Once you’ve done that you can create a business page. To learn about setting up your Google+ business page, review the documentation that Google has provided for this purpose. Here is an example of a business page for Widen Digital Asset Management here in Madison. At the time of the screen shot, you can see the people who are in their circle (who they are following) along with the people who have them in circles (followers).

Once you’ve set up your page, there are various ways that you can use the platform to engage with prospects and customers who are similar to those you may be familiar with on Facebook or Twitter. Among the techniques that you can use to maximize the effectiveness of your use of Google+ as part of your digital marketing strategies are the following:

  • Google+ badge: If you promote Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social networks on your site, you should do the same with a Google+ badge or icon on your website linking to your Google+ page.

  • +1 button: For your website content, you are going to want to encourage sharing with a social sharing widget for not only the other major social sites but also for Google+ (via the +1 button) so that people can readily share the page to their Google+ circles or communities. Here’s an example of a social sharing widget on Business 2 Community:

  • Circles: To manage your engagement, you should segment the pages and people you follow into circles (much like Twitter lists) so that you can share targeted content to the segments that might be most interested in the topics you discuss.
  • Postings: To build engagement, you are going to want to include Google+ in your content editorial calendar, with Google recommending an every-other-day posting of fresh content. This can vary depending on the nature of your target market’s receptivity to your Google+ content.
  • Photos: Google+ has refined photo-sharing capabilities that continue to be enhanced through acquisitions and technical improvements.
  • Videos: Google+ becomes another distribution channel for videos created and posted on YouTube or for recorded Hangouts.
  • Hangouts: Google+ encourages engagement by creating a Hangout for broadcasting content. The content will be showcased on your Google+ and YouTube pages. Here’s a video that Google+ has created to showcase Hangouts:

  • Community: Beyond a Hangout, you can create a Google+ community to encourage interaction around your brand or a topic of interest to your prospects or buyers. Be sure to have an appointed moderator and access to content that can be curated and shared with the community. Also promote your community through other channels. Here’s an example of a Google+ community that Ford manages:

At a minimum, your brand should participate in relevant Google+ communities so that you can listen, learn, and share what is happening related to your product or service category

If you haven’t yet explored Google+, I’d recommend that you do so. The opportunities to use this evolving social media platform to engage with prospects and customers are just starting to emerge and shouldn’t be missed as part of your overall social media strategy.

For additional insights and tips on digital marketing strategy and tactics, you can add me to your circles at my Google+ page, follow me on Twitter @theWebChef, or follow my boards on Pinterest

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