Tag - Google Plus

Google Plus – Not Just Another Social Network

Have you created a business profile on Google Plus?  Before you roll your eyes at the prospect of signing up to yet another social network, there are some compelling reasons to promoting your brand on Google Plus.

Like other social networks, Google Plus allows business to setup a business profile.  But that’s where the similarities end.  Google insists that Google+ is a “social layer”: not just a destination site, but something that Google has added as a layer across many of its properties.  In addition:

  1. Google Plus has over 250 million registered users – a pool of potential customers too large to ignore.
  2. It’s Google – the number one search engine in the world.  And as stated by Google CEO Larry Page, Google Plus gives business owners the upper-hand by allowing them to tap into the search engine traffic. 

Unlike some other social network sites, learning Google Plus can be a little more involved.  So what are some of the components that go into making Google Plus unique?

Circles

You can group people into different circles.  The best part is that the people you add to a circle don’t need to be on your friends list.  You can add anyone to any circle.  You’ll then receive updates from anyone you’ve added to one of your circles as a news feed – similar to the ‘follow’ in Twitter that allows you to read the update of others.

Hangouts

Hangouts allow you to have a video conversation with people in your circles.  You get to meet that want to meet.  It’s one of the most unique (and according to Google) best features on Google+.  Hangouts allow you to have multi-person video or group video chatting and stop paying Skype for group video conversations.

+Mobile

+Mobile allows you to take videos or photos of your mobile device and upload it immediately with geo-location. And you decide if your media should be private or public.  Google location services provide a list of public location that you can choose from, similar to Foursquare.

Sparks  

Sparks allow you to start up a conversation about pretty much anything that interests you.  Enter any of your interests into Google Plus and it will return article that you may want to read about your topics of interest.  According to Google, you’ll no longer have any reason to use bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Digg, and StumbleUpon once you have Sparks.

Huddled

Huddled is group conversation feature that allows you to chat with groups of people.  It’s similar to chat features on MSN, Skype, Blackberry Messenger, and others too numerous to name here.

+1 (Plus 1)

People can say they ‘Like’ something in Goggle Plus by +1′ing it. (Plus 1). +1′ing has been going on for a while now, but until recently your +1′s could only seen inside Google Plus. Now your +1’s can be seen outside of Google Plus in a place we all want to be seen: Google Search!  That has tremendous marketing potential for any business.  What marketer doesn’t want to get free Word-of-Mouth advertising?

Conclusion

So what is Google Plus, then?  Think of it as a combination of several popular social media and/or web services in one box, such as Facebook, Twitter,  Yelp, Pinterest, Instagram, Digg, plus other popular services you’re probably already using on a daily basis. If you’re already using any of those services, the learning curve for Google Plus should be a short one.

Google Plus 1 Your Way to Higher Local Rankings

Google’s latest big shake up in the search ranking algorithm looks at social media clues — specifically through its own social network Google +. In short, Google + users who do a search while logged into their Google account may see some results from pages that people in their network have shared in Google + or have clicked on a +1 button for that page. Those pages will now rank more favorably for that searcher. And the searcher will see icons of the people in their network who have +1′d that page. In other words, people they know and trust have already vouched for that page.

Google search has been going through a lot of recent changes. A search ranking position is no longer a number as much as it is a probability within a range. Factors such as localization, personalization, the user’s search history, whether the user is a Google user and whether he/she is logged in, and whether the user is using a mobile device to search, all effect position in the search results. And means your business’s next position in the rankings can vary considerably.

This could be big for local businesses as Google + use continues to grow. As Google injects + 1’’s into its search results, Google Plus will get more exposure and see more growth. The average user will have networks consisting mainly of friends and family and those networks will be predominantly local.

And as a local business, you want to encourage locals to Plus 1 vote on your pages. This will help your search results to be favored for more and more local searches by local people logged into their Google accounts.

Here are some ways to encourage users to +1 your small business website.

· Place Google +1 buttons on every page of your website

Place the +1 button in a prominent place on all your web pages, much like you’ve probably already done with Facebook and Twitter icons.

· Include a message about sharing your link in “Thank You” emails

On emails you send thanking customers for doing business with you, place links to your social media profiles and ask for the +1. Also include links to your Google Places listing, Yelp listing and maybe a couple other local review websites.

· Include the Google +1 button with a message in your contact form “Thank You” pages

If you have a “Thank You” page after a customer submits a form (or makes an ecommerce purchase), customers are often are more likely to take an extra action. Show them a special message on that “Thank You” page about + 1’ing you.

· Create a Google Plus + profile for your business

Google has now opened up Google + to businesses. Set up your business profile then build circles by adding locals.

· Link to your social profiles in your email signature

Create an email signature (if you haven’t already). In addition to your name, phone number and website address (at a minimum), your email signature should include links to your Google + profile, Facebook page and Twitter pages.

According to Google, 100 million people are using Google+ each month — numbers that your small business can’t afford to ignore.