Leveraging social media with Google+

With so many social media platforms out there, you may be tempted to sign up for everything in the hopes of bringing success to your business. However, focus is important - now more than ever - to your business' success. Last month, Genoo set out to discover more about Google+ and how it is different from other social media platforms. What follows is a list of our results and why we think Google+ is great to use for business. Don't just take our word for it, though. Do your own research to find out if your target audience uses Google+ before signing up. 

1. Circles

Google+ allows you to segment people into circles and choose which circles get to see specific content; essentially targeted sharing. This function is huge news! No other social media platform before has given people this option. The issue with social media is that it's a broadcast sharing mechanism - whatever you post, your entire network can see.  What Google+ has created is a social media network that more closely matches real life. For example, in a way that resembles how your day-to-day life works, your business could have circles for prospects, new customers, and old customers, or customers of specific product lines. You can target each circle with information that is specifically relevant to them. It’s important to note that currently Google+ Business Pages do not enable you to add individuals to your circles unless they add you first. However, it does allow you to add other business pages to your circles. You can use this to your advantage by sharing and commenting on other business’ posts to increase awareness for your brand.

2. Visual Content

Photos and video look amazing on Google+. Use this feature to bring awareness to the human element of your business. Google+ also provides a “View Ripples” feature that displays your content’s influence visually. Not only that, but included is the option to watch the spread of the post over time. A sidebar with comments is displayed to the right giving deeper access to the content’s influence. This feature on Google+ takes social media tracking and monitoring to a whole new level, which in turn will help you take your social marketing to the next level by understanding what content is working.

3. Search Engine Optimization

The obvious reason we love Google+ is because it is directly connected to the Google search engine, which is visited by approximately 1 billion people a month. What does this mean for you? It means that your business has an increased chance to appear in search results if it is on Google+, provided you post regularly post relevant content that gets +1 and commented on. In fact, Google+ is dramatically changing the way SEO works. It is “transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships” (read more at Google's blog). This is called "Search, Plus Your World" and its purpose is to personalize your search results via your Google+ account.  If for no other reason than SEO, 60% of the top brands in the U.S. have Google+ pages.

4. Hangouts

This feature is a valuable asset to your business because it allows you to connect and build relationships with your target customers in real life. Hangouts gives you the option of hosting a video chat of up to nine colleagues or customers and can be used to hold business calls, answer customer support questions, and even host events on topics that are interesting to your audience. No matter where people are located, it connects you face-to-face.  This is something worth exploring for many of us who work with our customers on a regular basis.

In summary, you should pay close attention to the changing dynamics of Google+. Currently, the population is skewed to a nearly 70% male audience with occupations that fall under student, software engineer, consultant, manager, and photographer. Before creating a business page, it’s important to ask, “Who is my target audience?” and “Can they be reached on Google+?” If the demographic you want to reach is not prevalent on Google+, then it may not be right for your business at this time. However, Google+ is an evolving social media platform so this could change at any time.  One thing is for sure, business marketers should keep their eye on Google+.

Check out Genoo's Google+ Page.  Click here