I will make a bold statement here: If you are not on Google+ now, you should be as it is an important part of your Social Networking and Marketing toolkit, as it will change how we interact, purchase things as well as rank in the Search Engines.
If you haven’t heard of Google+ or have been sitting on the fence, Google+ is a newer social media platform from Google that brings together the best of Social Media networks as well as Search engine optimization and a lot of great features. A bonus is that the layout of the site is very clean and easy to read.
There are quite a few things that separate Google+ from it’s rivals. Here are the key ones in my mind as a Business owner leveraging Social Media.
Circles – Laser Focused Marketing:
One of the features is the introduction of Circles. Circles are clusters of your Contacts placed into a group that you would like to address separately. You can put your Family into the Family Circle, your Friends into a Friends cirlce, Boat enthusiasts into another circles, Joggers into another one, etc.
What this allows you to do is to be able to broadcast your thoughts or messages to select groups, such as a timely article to only the Jogger Circle. That way you are not telling your whole list about the activity that will not relate to most of your list.
By having Circles, it helps to organize the people you have friended, into circles that are easy to give them a name that is easy to remember.
As a business owner, this is a great thing to have. What you can do, is as you find people on Google+ in an area that you are looking to target, you can place them into a circle. Let’s say you are looking for Musicians to be part of a festival and you only want local musicians. All you have to do is search for them via the search features and when you find them, without leaving the page, you can Add them to the appropriate “Musicians” cirlce. From that point on, if you have an item you need to say or market, all you have to do is click on the SHARE button and pick that Circle, and voila!, only those people will see it. Again you are not “spamming” the rest of your list so people will appreciate this.
To invite people to Google+, you simply add them into your Circle that you would like them to be part of. There is a button that says “Add a new person”. Next, you need to put them into a circle. Pick multiple ones if that person should be in 2 or more circles. Type in their Email address. Once they are located and they will get an invite from you.
+1 – Increase your Popularity and SEO while telling people that others like your stuff as well:
As you can see pretty much everywhere on the internet, a lot of sites are showcasing the +1 Button. This is the Google+ button that allows you if pressed, that you appreciate this article and find it valuable.
So if you like an article, even this one (hint hint), you can click on the +1, to show you like what information is being provided.
From a Search Engine optimization point of view for our Business or personal sites, Google is the king of all search engines. We all know that. Well, since it’s their social network, you are starting to see (if you are logged into Google+ while searching around – and usually unless you log out, you stay logged in), as you are logged in, Friends and contacts in your Circles that have +1’d an article and this provides the magic component of Social proof. Social proof is a way of showing others like your stuff, and makes it more appealing to like as well.
An example is if you +1 an article, and your friends on Google+ go searching for that items, say a restaurant review site, they will see that you +1 or liked it and that will make you more want to click on it as it’s like Winston likes this page, I will check it out as well.
The other MAJOR thing about the +1 is that for Google, once again the biggest Search Engine in the world, is starting to arrange the algorithm from how it indexes now to more of Social engagement. Put another way, the more that pages are +1 from Google+ users, the more it will help to move up the rankings.
Example: Bob pulled out all the tricks with SEO (search engine optimization) to create a top ranking page for a product on an Event in his town. Tim, another local person has a page for an event on the same day and wants to beat out the ranking of Bob’s site. Tim also does a great job but is behind Bob’s site. Leading up to the event, Tim gets quite a substantial number of +1’s and comments on his page. Since Google tracks this and the social input, it will cause Tim’s site to rise to the top, as it’s social proof that people are finding and enjoying that page.
This is crucial for SEO, development of sites and marketing from this point on. Google and other search engines see that basing rankings on what people like is truly the best way to rank pages.
On Google+ you can create Business Pages for your Businesses, Brands and other non-personal items.
Agan, the main benefit is that Google is running the show and this will lead to be indexing of your Brand and better page indexing than Facebook could ever do.
NOTE: Facebook is not indexed in google other than personal page indexes that link to you, if at all.
As a Google+ user, you can bring together your team on the site in a video chat area, called Hangouts. You can have up to 10 people at one time.
Facebook created a deal this past year with Skype however on FB, you can only do 1 person at a time on Video conference mode. They are still catching up and keep adding in features that look a lot like Google+.
In your Account Profile:
Once you have setup your Profile (and you can even transfer over all of your details from Facebook to Google+), people can see your Stream of conversation (or if you assign status updates for specific circles, on those can see it), About you, photos and videos as well as all the articles you have +1. I like that viewing of +1 as it allows me to bookmark sites I like with the +1 and then can refer to my profile to review them or re-read them.
There is a great site, called http://www.gplus.to that will take the ugly URL that links to your page and make it into a short URL for you. Just go onto the site, enter your long URL, add a nickname, as shown above and it will create a shorter, easier to use URL. I use this as it’s a lot cleaner in my Email signature.
This is mine: http://www.gplus.to/winstonbromley
Why Google+ Matters:
As there are many Social Media sites out there to be part of, I highly recommend for all it’s benefits, that you get a Google+ account today and start building your Network. It’s a very intuitive Site and poses many features that will help you and your Business to succeed in Social Media, SEO and whatever else Google thinks up. Google is the king of Content so let’s be part of their system and get the results we want.
Come and find my on Google+ and add me to your Friends circle.
See you there!