Google Plus is one of Google’s crowning achievements. It allows individuals, businesses, and brands to identify themselves upon a social network that is integrated directly into the Google search engine.
When used properly, it can increase the number of visits a website receives from normal search engine users and foster an elevated social status much like most businesses wish to achieve with other popular social networks. This means more fans, a more diverse audience and more brand loyalty for you.
What is Google Plus?
Google Plus has commonly been referred to as a “social layer” instead of a social network. There are two distinct ways that Google Plus works:
- It is a social network. There is a feed for profiles where posts can be sent, commented on and “Plus’d”. The main thing that makes Google Plus different as a network is that you can create different groups of people known as “Circles”. This allows you to keep a different set of contacts when there are certain things that are only appropriate for certain groups.
- It is a search engine component. Google has incorporated content from Google Plus users in several unique ways. The most important ways for businesses include the appearance of author and Google Plus content in search results, “Pluses” that can be applied on a search result, and the integration of Google Plus content with things such as Google Place reviews.
Why Should Businesses Use Google Plus?
The main draw of Google Plus is its ability to become tied in with the Google search engine. When personal results are enabled, the following things can happen:
- Users can see feedback from other users in their circles. This can include “Pluses” on search results, Google Place reviews, shared posts and authored content.
- Users can find more reliable material faster. Because Google Plus makes it a point to allow users to endorse content with their Google Plus accounts, users can quickly find results that have been supported by “social proof”.
- Hangouts can be used for product promotion. A Google Hangout works like a live video conference where multiple people can conduct a conference at one time. Businesses can invite important leaders in the industry for interviews and regular customers to share their thoughts on a product.
- All content can be confined to Google Plus Circles. This applies to virtually any content that can be shared on Google Plus. Calender events, videos, authored content and “Plus’d” content can all be shared with specific circles. For example, this allows businesses to send different content to business partners than customers.
Creating a Google Plus Page for Your Business or Brand in 3 Steps
The first step to creating your very own Google Plus page is to first create a personal Google Plus account. You can then create your page by clicking on the “Pages” button on the menu located on the left side of the Google Plus homepage. (see image below)
You then need to choose a category that best defines your business. If your business has a local physical store, then you should probably select the “local business or store” option to allow your Plus page to show up as a local business. You should enter your details, which includes your business’s phone number, address, external website and any other contact information your potential audience might need to know. This is also used to validate your page so make sure it is correct and you have access to it.
The last step to creating your Plus page involves customizing it. You need to inform your followers and customers about your business by filling out the “About” and “Contact” details, as well as any other pertinent information boxes. You then need to customize your Google Plus page to make it visually appealing. Add branding, photographs and a personal touch that allows your audience to really connect with your business.
Keep in mind that the most important part of successfully using Google Plus to promote your business revolves around getting in touch with your users. Appeal to them and show them content that they want to see by utilizing Google Circles in the content you create on Google Plus.