Google+ is a treasure trove for businesses that know how to use it. In this post, you’ll learn 8 powerful Google+ tips for business that will help you grow your brand presence, your audience, and your business.
1. Account Setup – Don’t Ignore The Details
This Google+ tip for businesses is a simple one, but it must be stated before we continue. Once you login and set up a Google+ Business Profile, take the time to include as much information about your business as possible–hours, photos, videos, and even parking availability matter. It never ceases to surprise me how frequently businesses leave their profile half-finished. For the best results complete every part of your public profile.
2. Join The Google Small Business Community
The Google Small Business Community (GBSC) is a place where businesses can get the help they need to succeed on the web by connecting with experts and each other. In addition to regular Hangouts and Q+As with Googlers, trusted advisors and industry leaders, youÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢âÂ¢ll also see business tips, topic-specific training, and articles by some of the most trusted professionals in the business community. During the last Small Business Week, President Barack Obama even chimed in on the conversation.
You can even search the GSBC with their useful hashtag system (listed below), making it an efficient place to gather information for your business:
- #BizBits – Stats, tips, quotes and trivia for a little learning every day
- #BizBytes – Case studies, infographics and articles to discuss
- #Bizdom – Topic-specific training sessions led by web specialists.
- #BizLinks – Lists of the best business resources you post
- #AskanAdvisor – If you have a question you want an online pro to answer
- #FeedbackFridays – A good time to ask the community to weigh in on your ideas
- #BizSpotlight – Words of wisdom from inspiring business owners
3. Sharing Content: The 80/20 Rule
Building an audience on any social network is not an easy challenge. As Google+ continues to grow,Ãâyour business should be sharing content on a daily (or weekly) basis. When sharing content, I suggest following the 80/20 rule wherein:
1. A total of 80% of your posts should be entertaining content–feeding your audience based on some shared belief.
2. A total of 20% of your posts should be promotional–providing discounts, company news, and industry chatter at a limited rate.
4. “Google+ Your Business” on YouTube
Did you know that Google+ has a YouTube Channel dedicated to serving businesses? The channel is chalk-full of interesting case studies, tutorials, and thought leadership for businesses of all shapes and sizes. One of the cool features of Google+ Your Business on Youtube is that many of its videos are shot LIVE and allow Youtubers to ask questions during the webinar; the channel is a convenient, interactive way to learn more about Google’s products and business solutions. I’d also heavily recommend this channel if you’re looking to learn more about online advertising and Google’s other advertising products.
5. Leverage Google Helpouts
One of the best kept secrets on Google+ is a platform called Google Helpouts. For an affordable rate, companies (like yours) can hire an expert over live video. Google Helpouts is a more efficient way to work with freelancers. Conversely, your business can setup its own Google Helpout and get paid for helping others. The 8 categories currently available on Google Helpouts include:
- Art & Music
- Computers & Electronics
- Education & Careers
- Fashion & Beauty
- Fitness & Nutrition
- Home & Garden
Payments on Google Helpouts are processed through Google Wallet, and there are two ways to pay: per minute or per Helpout session, though some experts offer both options at the same time, for convenience.
6. Use Images On Your Google+ Posts
According to a study by 3M, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. On social networks like Google+, attention spans are limited. By including an image with each of your company’s Google+ posts, you increase the chance that your message is heard. On average, photos earn 2 times the engagement of text posts. Keep it simple, and include photos.
7. Integrate YouTube Content on your Google+ Page
Did you know that videos are shared 12 times more oftenÃâthan photos and text? As visual creatures, we are naturally drawn to the storytelling power of the video format; this format isn’t as complicated as you might think. You don’t have to be an expert videographer to create a valuable YouTube video. Integrating YouTube content on your Google+ Page is a great way to keep your followers interested, and its sharing capacity is an opportunity for you to grow a following–ultimately leading to greater word-of-mouth, and sales.
8. Behold, The #Hashtag
If you build it, they will not come. Just because you post something on your company’s Google+ page, does not mean that it will attract an audience. Using hashtags will bring more exposure and visibility to your profile because Google+ is structured in a way that allows users to explore topics via hashtag. Create your own hashtags (company name, etc.), and use hashtags that Google suggests.
Featured photo credit: Google Logo Render / Mark Knol via flickr.com