Google + Marketing Tips

Written by Neil Ashton.

Google+ Marketing Tips

Are you struggling to understand how to market your business with Google+? In search of some suggestions and strategies? You’ve reached the right place. Here are 12 ways you can use Google+ to advertise and market your company.

Personalize your page URL

Utilizing a so-called “vanity URL” can be a smart move when it comes to your online presence.

While Facebook allows page owners to generate vanity URLs with the structure facebook.com/YourName, Google does not presently do the same.

Google+ web page URLs appear like this: https://plus.google.com/103145815507039304597/posts. It seems likely that at some point Google will allow for individualized page URLs, but until they do, there's a service that can assist.

At http://www.gplus.to/, you could make a custom URL like http://www.gplus.to/strutta, that will redirect an individual to your page. This link is much more user-friendly and branded for your business or business. When it comes to branding oneself on social channels, a little vanity is Acceptable!

Create a catchy mini-bio for your hovercard

Get imaginative on your “Employer” field and use that to craft a catchy “mini-bio.” This then displays on your hovercard, which is often the only information someone on Google+ has before them to determine whether to circle (follow) you.

Make it very simple for additional visitors to circle you by having a bio somewhat similar to what you might have on Twitter.

The field isn't obvious at a glance, but it’s under the “Employment” section and has to be your current employer. You've plenty of characters to write exactly what you wish there. I'd caution against writing something similar to “self-employed,” that doesn’t really tell anybody anything at all about yourself.

Create a fantastic initial impression

I believe one of the most important things that businesses need to do with both their personal profiles and Google+ pages is complete all the details. Don’t think of Google+ as just another social profile. Think about it as the first contact point with a new client.

Understanding that, make sure you have a great description in your introduction, all your contact details, and links to your most significant online properties including your website, top pages on your website (products or services), blog and primary social profiles (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn). Additionally be q use the photostrip underneath your headline to display the photos that best represent you and your brand.

Market your Google+ web page

It’s essential to remember to promote your Google+ page from your web site and other online presences. A newly released BrightEdge analysis found that of the world’s top 100 brands that had scurried to establish a Google+ company web page, 61 of these hadn't displayed a hyperlink from their site to their new Google+ web page.

Businesses should make use of features such as Google Badges. To do this, you need to register at the Google+ Platform Preview and then create and personalize your badge at the Google+ configuration tool web page. The web page will generate a script which you’ll code into the website to enable and display the badge.

I would also recommend including the +1 button to your businesses blog or website, allowing visitors to recommend it with a single click. HubSpot noted that websites which use Google’s +1 button produced 3.5 times more traffic from Google+ than web sites that don’t have the button set up.

Establish a recommended circles list

My favorite Google+ marketing tips is to create a prioritized list of suggested circles you ought to be placed in at the top of the About tab of your profile page, for both your business and personal profiles.

Site visitors are able to easily and quickly determine your company focus, that should encourage further exploration of your detailed bio or company introduction, and lead to more connections.

Leverage pictures to connect with your audience

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re utilizing Google+ as a tool to build awareness for you or your company. If that’s the case, you may want to improve your Google+ profile to incorporate pictures that offer helpful information and figures regarding your industry.

I wanted to offer my Google+ followers information about social, mobile and digital media. I have done this by generating graphics that were 720 x 720 pixels and uploading them to a scrapbook on my Google+ profile.

Consequently visitors to my profile are greeted by 5 short factoids about Internet marketing . This really is useful to my fans and in addition positions me as a thought leader in the industry.

Create your presence and await your audience

Depending on what business you’re in, it’s quite possible that your particular audience isn’t currently using Google+. This presents both a challenge as well as an opportunity.

The challenge is to find time for you to be engaging and relevant on yet another online community. The opportunity is for you to establish yourself as a thought leader in a area where your competition may not be currently participating.

To balance resource constraints with opportunity, I recommend that businesses establish their presence and listen for opportunities to interact. When you start to see your target audience adopting Google+, take the time to recognize what they like about the platform that they aren’t getting on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Rather than trying to puzzle out how you can do everything on Google+ that you’re doing on other social networking sites, look for how Google+ can help your business fill a unique necessity for your audience and build a strategy around that.

Become familiar with your audience on Google+

When considering your articles for the Google+ platform, keep in mind that although there might be some overlap with other social networking, this is a new and different platform and possibly an entirely new and different audience.

Get acquainted with them by asking questions, polling, sharing content and interacting. Don't assume that the things that work for your company on more established social channels including Twitter and Facebook will have a cookie-cutter fit with your Google+ audience. Customize your communication and content to their needs.

Use brand micro-circles for repeat business

To get the most out of Google+, concentrate on creating circles on a micro level. Focus on a business-by-business basis, adding names to client businesses and brands, each of which has their own circle. You can also add names to “influencer” circles, which will help you connect with people in your field whom you wish to meet up with on the internet.

Using Google+ as a business knowledge base enhances conversation with your clients as well as your project management capacity as you chat, video-conference and connect with new people through these micro circles.

Segmentation and attention are often important when you’re shooting for recurring business. Google+ has given you a method of doing this smartly and efficiently, without having to use multiple platforms or media!

Take advantage of Google+ search to show you’re there

Search Google+ for mentions of your brand name and industry-related keywords and phrases. Save your searches and they will appear on your left sidebar for quick reference. Monitor your saved queries every day and reply to mentions, comment on threads and reshare people’s posts.

Even though you have nothing to mention, a +1 allows them to know that you’re paying attention, as a great social brand should be.

Use Google+ hangouts to speak with clients

Brands should be eager to hanging out on Google+.That’s correct. No significant advantage needed, just communication. The power of the hangout is truly (for me at least) THE big differentiator of Google+ over other social platforms.

Require some insight into how consumers are thinking? Ship a handful of them a bag of M&M’s and a calendar appointment for your forthcoming focus group.

Want to make your customers feel special? Call them with an invitation to hang out with someone fascinating: your CEO, a famous spokesperson or head of product development. No script, no questions. Simply a chance to consult with somebody they’d love to meet up with.

Or what's even better, become the campfire that your particular customers want to visit and educate your customer (who probably doesn’t have a clue about Google+, much less a hangout) how they may get on Google+ and join a hangout to meet other like-minded individuals and make new buddies who share the same interest. The list can go on and on, but suffice it to say, the ability to create real-time, multi-user online video chats is ripe for innovative marketing.

Sign up to others’ hangouts

If you’re really going to learn how to effectively use hangouts, you’ll need to be involved in some (as a person, not necessarily as a marketer). Finding the time to learn the norms of hangouts is likely to make your first hangout as a business far more successful. If you utilize the Chrome browser, there’s a plugin entitled “Hangout Canopy” that allows you to see what live hangouts are occurring at any given moment.

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