How will a Google Plus brand page benefit my small business?

November 11, 2011

How will a Google Plus brand page benefit my small businessby Justine Parsons

 

One of my clients asked the question this week, “How will a Google Plus brand page benefit my business?”

I can almost hear her groaning as she wrote this, “Another network? Really? I have Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn that I am already trying to cope with. Do I really need another one?”

As a virtual assistant offering social media services to the small business owner, the response has to be an emphatic, Yes! Ignoring Google Plus would be a huge mistake for any business seeking to create business relationships with customers and potential customers through social media.  I’m there!  Your Virtual Assistant – Google+ Brand Page

Listed below are the immediate benefits Google Plus can bring to your business:

Simplicity – As you would expect from Google, their social media platform is highly integrated with the rest of the vast array of Google products. The option to ‘+1’ all sorts of things across the web, and the ever-present Google+ notification bar makes the whole thing feel like a very inclusive system, yet doesn’t intrude on your browsing experience.

For example, you may run a search query on the latest iPhone Apps relating to real estate for your real estate clients. From the query results you simply click the Google+ share button, comment and send it to your real estate circle.  Segmented marketing in one click of a button.

Segmentation – Unlike with Facebook, Google Plus offers businesses the ability to segment posts by groups, called Circles. Circles are groups of people you follow that fit categories, interests, or any other segments you wish to create. Facebook, on the other hand, lumps all of your page’s fans into one group, so everyone sees your posts. There is great value for a business in creating Circles for each of its target industries, or maybe even a Circle to target its customers. For example, you may wish to extend an event invitation to only your customers whom you follow. Circles are a big “plus,” especially for marketers, who love the advantages of segmenting messages with unique information.

Connectivity – BlackBerry users have had plenty of experience with group messaging services like BBM, but Google+ has its own offering called ‘Huddles’, which allow users of their Android app (as well as a forthcoming iOS version) to chat and share media with their Circles, whilst on the move. This offers a very targeted option for releasing special offers or announcing new products.

Face to Face – A big hit with users since the service launched in beta testing, Hangouts provide an opportunity to video chat with up to 10 people at a time.  They appear in news streams giving friends the option to join or leave at any time, allowing face-to-face chat and YouTube video sharing. A simple video presentation is a very real possibility with this feature, allowing for question and answer sessions afterwards.

Integration – Google Plus is obviously operated by Google, and with that comes the integration of your Google Plus business page and posts with Google search results. From a search engine optimization and visibility perspective, this is HUGE, because that activity gives you more frequent and higher rates of appearing in your customers’ Google search results.

Image – It has to be said that Google+ looks pretty amazing. It has a clean and simple user interface, with clever little graphic touches like the deleted circles that roll away off the screen. The reason the whole world started its love affair with Google was because of its minimalist, unobtrusive homepage, which has carried through into the beautiful design of Google+. It looks and feels powerful and professional, which makes it an attractive environment to promote business, and is something which Facebook will perhaps never be able to compete with.

Need more info?  Hubspot have put together a great resource which explains the new Google Plus brand pages while also explaining the how, why and what that is Google Plus.  How to use Google+ for business.

Need help managing your social network tasks?  Contact me to discuss how I can take the sweat, blood and tears out of this area of your business – you just do the fun bits!

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