This is the era of social media marketing, and Google+ is the place to be. If you are representing a big brand or are trying to promote a small and medium enterprise, in both cases Google+ business page can prove instrumental in driving traffic to your site. If you want to increase your search visibility, want to reach to a targeted audience and want to do online brand control – then you must create a Google+ business page.
How can you achieve this? What marketing guidelines are to be followed is discussed below:
Tip 1: Create A Google+ Page- As Google opened its platform for brands, big brands as well as small start ups rushed on to the platform to mark their presence. If you are totally new here, then follow these steps to Create A Google+ Page. Creating a page is really very simple, and to get started, go to https://plus.google.com/pages/create.
Tip 2: SEO Friendly Profile and Page- This is really important. You must ensure that your Profile as well as your Page are SEO friendly. Title tags, meta descriptions and dofollow links must be in place to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your Google+ presence. Simply go through this complete guide to create SEO friendly Pages and Profiles for more.
Tip 3: Call to action on your page- You have to get people to +1 your page or share it or add to Circles. So your business Page must have clear call to action. Treat this page as any other landing page on your site and you have to prompt the visitors to do something that you would want them to do. On the Google+ platform, these things could be to ask the users to add you to their Circles, or to join a hang out, or to +1 your page and share the page including other things. For instance, the official page for The Muppets movie promoted their ‘+1′ drive by asking people to +1 a video. This is a perfect example of promoting specific calls to action. You have to understand that on a social network people want a further push, once they have reached the page to do what you want. You have to subtly direct people to do what your want.
Tip 4: Manage your followers by Creating Circles- If you are just starting out to get followers then you may Add most of them to your Circles. If you have many followers, then separate them, according to their interest, interaction and potential to promote and support your page. One circle for a different kind of “mindset” of customer that you have. For instance, see how the official Google+ page of Save the Children UK, has people in its Circles, and sorts them. Do not worry the fans will not be able to see in which Circle you have added them!
Tip 5: Post Interesting And Informative Stuff- It does not end with just creating a Page. You have to keep the page alive with interesting updates. Google+ is better than Facebook as it has a character limit well over 2,000 characters. So write what you think will interest people. Put up links to your blogs, other updates, pictures, videos related to your industry or sometimes just for the fun of it! See for example how the official page of Toyota have posted an interesting assortment of profile picture as well as the related and inviting videos they have shared.
Another example is how The New York Times uses its Google+ Page. It is using the platform to source photos for its latest crowd sourcing project “Picturing 7 Billion.” This project is a really smart way for the company to customize its page based on follower feedback (as people asked the Times to put up international pictures.)
Tip 6: Use Hangouts Smartly- This video chat feature of Google+ can come in really handy to interact with your followers. Now you don’t have to schedule webinars or teleseminars, as you can simply host an on-the-spot video lesson! People can see the person behind the postings and the comments and this will add a lot to their faith in the brand. Hangouts are really important for Pages with huge fan following, for instance a movie Page or a band Page, where people want to interact with the stars and celebrities. The music band All American Rejects use the hangout feature quite often to interact with fans, answer their questions and also maybe hold a mini -concert!!
Tip 7: Engage your audience- You have to participate! Strike a conversation! The engagement process begins by you adding people to your Circles, when people have added you to one of theirs. Participate in the Google+ community. Be proactive. Start a conversation, gain the followers’ trust and then promote your brand. Ask interesting questions/polls and quizzes to gather what the audience expects from your brand. See for example, how the page for Time magazine, has made a very good attempt to engage the users in conversation, by asking a controversial, yet interesting question. People are very vocal about certain issues, and comparing Facebook to Google+ will draw quite a reaction!
Another good example is the official Pepsi page. Here they have invited the fans to send over pictures of Pepsi cans shot in an innovative manner. Then they are sharing the same on the Google+ platform. This induces a string connection with fans.
Tip 8: Create A Local Business Page too- With a local business page you can include a map of your business’s location and address, phone number etc in detail for the followers to see. This local page on Google+ will be separate from your Google place page and will not replace it. Google Help has further insights to help you Get started with a local Google+ page.
Tip 9: Get those widgets-On social platforms, widgets are always a smart idea. You can add quite a few widgets on your Google+ Page and profile too. You can place a widget to have someone add you to their circles. A widget to capture a feed from your Google+ posts is also handy. Use Google+ Badges to integrate your site with the Google+ Page.
Tip 10: Link your Google+ page with your AdWords campaign-You can easily integrate your AdWords campaign to Goolge+ page with the help of Social Extensions. This is a new feature released by Google AdWords. You must understand that the ROI of your paid search campaigns can increase significantly with an active presence in the community (social sites). Further details on this integration are revealed here.
Tip 11: Promote your Google+ account from other networks- Promote on Facebook, and other platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, your company’s blog, your monthly newsletter, or anywhere else! ). For instance, see the official Google+ page of the Indian film Don 2 , here they have links to their posts on Facebook, which is driving traffic from Facebook to their Google+ Page. If you have a strong presence on any other social platform, then use that to leverage your Google+ Page.
Similarly, the official page of Virgin Airlines is promoting its Facebook app on Google+.
Parting Shot- Google+ Pages for Businesses are new. The audience is still exploring the platform. More importantly, Google+ is bringing in new features. Study all of them, learn how to use the platform and connect with your fans. Be innovative in your approach. Earn the fans’ trust and encourage them to use the +1 button every time they can so that your content gets shared all across the web!