You must be thinking, “Why do we need yet ANOTHER social network?” Frankly, that is a reasonable question to ask. Certainly, one of the reasons Google wants their Google+ platform to be successful is to enhance their own search results. But what about users? And as a marketer, why would you want to use Google+ to reach them?
Google+ is similar to other social networks when it comes to marketing, but it does have its own strengths and weaknesses. To get the most from your Google+ Business Page in terms or traffic and leads for your business, follow these best practices:
1. Share LOTS of Photos
Photos are very important on Google+. A quick look at a Google+ feed will tell you that users share lots of individual images. This is slightly different than Facebook, where users might upload an entire album of images at once. Think about your business and marketing visually. Which images, charts, or slides can you share on Google+ to ignite conversations and increase the viral spread of your content? Google+ is built for sharing images, so take advantage of it.
2. Add Recommended Links
Under the ‘About’ tab of your Google+ Page, you have the option to add recommended links in the right side bar. Don’t let this space go to waste. Instead, add links to important blog articles and lead generation offers to drive more traffic and leads for your business.
3. Promote Your Google+ Page on Your Blog and Website
To get real business value from Google+, you have to have a community of people there to consume and engage with your content. In order to get people to add your Google+ Page to their Circles, you need to promote the page in places where you are already attracting visitors, such as your homepage, blog side bar, or other social media accounts. Cross-promotion is key to building a strong Google+ community.
4. Encourage People to Share Your Posts
Sharing on Google+ is a catalyst for increasing the virality of your content. When you post a message, photo, or link on Google+, be sure to ask your subscribers to share your content with the people in their Circles. This is similar to asking people to “please retweet” on Twitter.
5. Analyze Traffic and Leads From Google+
So is this Google+ thing actually working for your business? To determine this, you’ll need to look at the traffic and leads that have been driven from Google+. You can do this by looking at referral traffic from plus.Google.com to your website, or if you are a HubSpot customer, HubSpot will segment all traffic, leads, and customers from Google+ for you as part of our marketing analytics.
6. Use Circles to Segment Your Messages
Unlike other social networks, Google+ was built with the unique idea that different groups of people prefer different content. Google+ solves this problem by using what it calls Circles. They are arguably the biggest selling point of Google+.
Circles are simply groups of people that users can create and label. Think about it this way. The same messages you share with your family might not be the same messages you want to share with your boss at work. For example, you might have different Circles for friends, family, and coworkers, and you would place new connections into their respective Circle. And yes, people can be added to more than one Circle. Once you have Circles created, you can then decide to share a Google+ message with one or multiple Circles.
What success have you had as a result of using Google+ for business marketing? Share your experiences in the comments.