Google Plus is a social media site that lets users share photos, listen to music together, play games and meet up in chat. But it’s also becoming a useful tool for business owners to establish a presence with an ever-growing crowd of active social networking users. Google+ is now one of the best ways to connect and engage with customers, promote products and services and even hold business meetings.
Google+ seems to be rolling out new features every week. With local listings, verified content and Google hangouts, businesses are constantly being handed new ways to leverage this huge social network to help them grow.
Social networking truly caters to local businesses, and it’s too big to ignore as a part of your social media strategy.
- 100+ Million Users. Google+ is relatively new to social media, but it’s growing fast. Google is the undisputed leader of search, and with the recent integration of Google+ with YouTube profiles, their user base is simply massive.
- Communities. Google+ Communities give you the perfect way to tap into prospects and groups of people who are interested in your market. You can create your own communities, too, or you can get engaged in existing communities and establish your authority to increase your exposure.
- Local Listings. Once you have joined Google+, you can get your business listed in Google Places for Business. You also have the chance to add your business details, hours of operation, provide directions and other useful information. Along with verification, people can see that you are a legitimate business by seeing third-party verification.
- Customer Interaction. Google+ also opens up a new channel for interacting with your customers. By using groups, Google+ circles, comments and communities, you can interact directly with prospects and customers alike.
- Google Hangouts. Google hangouts are a unique way to interact and chat with a group of other Google+ users. You can use Google+ Hangouts to hold video conferences and meetings, provide one-on-one support to customers and more.
- 360° Tours with Google+ Business Photos. Google+ Business Photos lets people take a 360-degree tour of your business with interactive photos. This is a truly exceptional feature that lets you really stand out from the crowd, and opens up the personality of your business to the public without actually opening the back door.
- Google Circle. Google circles provide a tremendously flexible way to follow, group and organize your connections. Instead of just having “friends” and “followers”, you can create unique circles for different groups that you might be interested in following. You might have a circle for “prospects” and a circle for “customers”, for example.
- Google Ripples. Ripples is a relatively new Google+ feature that lets you see how a certain post has influenced other feeds by providing insight and data on your shared posts. Learn who shared your posts, where and how they were distributed, and more.
- Ownership Verification. By verifying your ownership of your business website or blog, you can establish some additional credibility with your network and prove that you are in fact who you say you are.
- Google Maps. Integrating Google Maps with your Google+ profile can help connect you with local customers and provide directions and information about your location on a regional basis.
It’s clear that Google+ isn’t going anywhere. While it might not have the frequency of use that Facebook and other social media sites have, its size and popularity can’t be ignored. When integrated properly with the rest of your social media strategy, it can be a very useful tool in expanding your reach and establishing your brand name with the masses.