September 24, 2013
Google+ has been making waves in the marketing industry. As a business owner, you may be wondering what it is all about and whether you should use it. You’re not alone.
Google+ offers a Facebook-esque experience, allowing users to access a news feed where people share status updates and other types of content. Where Google+ is unique is that it uses “Circles” to make it simple for you to share content with specific groups of people (as opposed to Facebook, where you post content on your wall to be viewed by all your Friends).
Why Does Google+ Matter to You?
First and foremost, Google+ offers outstanding SEO opportunities. You can share pages from your website, for example, thereby helping get it ranked higher by, well, Google. This ups your chances of getting seen by your target audience. Google+ is also relatively new, meaning you have time for trial and error, growing along with the up-and-coming platform. With a smaller audience (so far) than on other social networks, you can build relationships with your customers more effectively. Finally, Google+ offers exceptional efficiency. By placing your followers into categories (think email lists), you can send relevant, contextual content to specific Circles.
Getting Started with Google+
Keep in mind that this is the time for experimenting with Google+, and for now, it should probably not be your only social media focus. But its benefits make it worthwhile to get familiar with. One of the nice things about Google+ right now is that the smaller audience means that less frequent posting is acceptable. Once a week is enough to start with. Decide which day and time you are going to designate for playing around with Google+. Once you get your feet wet, you will be able to direct customers to your Google+ page.
How you use Google+ will depend on what your goals are. Posting an article once or twice a week is a good starting point. Engage other users by clicking “+1,” which is similar to a Facebook “like.” Share others’ posts when they are relevant, and take part in the conversation by talking about updates you find interesting, helpful tips, and other comments your followers might find interesting.
Tips for Maximising Your Results
Once you have the hang of using Google+, use a few simple tricks to make your page even better. For example, you can make your content stand out by using distinctive formatting. Longer posts are more acceptable on Google+ than they are on Facebook, but that does not mean your readers want to see a long, boring wall of text. Use good line spacing and paragraph breaks to make your posts more readable. Also, don’t forget great images. Intriguing, vibrant graphics improve click-through rates.
Make your posts engaging by tapping into your followers’ interests. Also, asking questions is a good way to encourage audience interaction. Give them a reason to act, too. One fun strategy is to post a unique image and ask your followers to come up with a caption. Another is to ask for – and take – their suggestions for your future content. Finally, come up with a theme (think Motivational Mondays, Tuesday Tirades, etc.). Or post a trivia question once a week and maybe even a reward for the first correct response – for example, a coupon or a free eBook (full of optimised content, of course).
Be patient and realise that it takes time to build an audience. With persistence, relevance, and consistency, you can develop a community of followers who become more and more engaged.
The Internet Marketing Academy
(Image: freedigitalphotos.net / master isolated images)
April 11, 2013
A Google+ site for a business is much like a personal Google+ site. It can be used to blog, to embed content from other websites, or to link to other websites. Your business Google+ site is linked to your business Google+ account. If you do not already have a Google+ account for your business, your first step is to create a Google+ account.
Claim your existing Google+ listing
Many business pages for local businesses were created automatically by Google, based on available information. To find out if your business already has a page, log on to your Google+ account (http://plus.google.com) and search for your business name. If you have a page that you have not claimed, there will be a button under the heading “Is this your business?” that reads “Manage this page”. Click the button to claim the business page.
Create a new Google+ page
To create a new page, on the left hand side of the screen, select the Pages icon if available, or if not select the More icon followed by the Pages icon. Then click the “Create new page” button and follow the prompts. You will need to select the type of page, whether a local business, a business with multiple locations, or a product or brand. Since you can create multiple pages, you can create one for every business location or every product, as well as one for your entire business. Verify the ownership of the page, and assign multiple managers to oversee the page.
Personalise your Google+ page
Add a description and links to your website. Add a profile picture of 250 x 250 pixels, and then change the cover image to either a single image spanning the page or a row of five smaller images. Pages for local businesses should also include an introduction, your business hours, the website name and address, the contact information, recommended links, photos, and videos. See How To Use Google+ Local for more details specific to local business use. The Google+ page allows you to post updates, pictures, and videos. Use these interactive features to list your latest special offers, link to your most recent blog posts, or display your latest videos.
Google+ pages are different from other social media pages in that they integrate with Google Hangouts. This allows you to put a video chat room feature on the page. You can use the Hangouts to create specific events such as product briefings or video training seminars which can be recorded and posted on YouTube. You can also use the Hangouts as a customer service platform, or as a bonus feature provided to VIP clients.
The Internet Marketing Academy
July 14, 2011
Google+ is making waves across the internet as its limited release continues with much acclaim by its users. Critics continue praising the new Google product as the David that could beat Goliath Facebook in the social networking game, and the world is waiting with bated breath to see what happens when Google+ is finally released to the rest of the world.
Most of those people are excited to use the popular tools Google+ offers them. They want to create circles of connections rather than swimming through a sea of Facebook friends. They want to get instant updates on feeds through Google’s new Sparks. In general, they want to experience something different from the traditional Facebook approach to social networking.
Those in the marketing world, however, may be a bit reluctant to see the start of a new social network. After all, keeping track of Twitter and Facebook and trying to work out the intricacies of those two services is difficult enough. Learning to target individuals you should market to through Google+ may be an unwanted new challenge for many.
While it is difficult to understand exactly how significant Google+ will be on social networking and marketing, there are a few things that can be drawn from this limited release that look pretty promising to internet marketers – if they are willing to learn to utilise the service.
Closing the Information Loop
Until now Facebook has been a forbidden land to Google’s AdWords. The company can follow you as you search all across the web, but the moment you step into the magical world of Facebook you disappear.
Marketers who use Google+ will be able to circumvent this problem that AdWords suffers through as the information loop must surely be extended to their new service. This provides a huge opportunity for social media marketing – if you can see what users are doing inside of the social network you can fine tune your marketing strategies within that network to rope more customers in.
One of the features of Google+ that is being praised in every recess of the internet is the new circles feature which allows users to create different networks for different kinds of connections. Close friends can be delegated to one circle, distant friends to another, family to their own and co-workers to yet another. This way content that is posted by users can be limited to target a specific group.
These circles will likely come to be a huge opportunity for marketers. If one person has an interest in a specific product, there is a pretty good chance that certain friends do too. As such, if a Google allows marketers access to a particular person’s likes and dislikes (which is probable based on Facebook’s success with such an approach), they will be able to identify other users who may be interested through those circlets.
Most people are not able to try these ideas out yet. But being ready as an online marketer to dive into the fray as soon as the service opens itself will prove very important in finding success quickly and before other marketers elbow out the competition. Be prepared!
Internet Marketing Academy
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