As one of Twitter and Facebook’s biggest competitors, Google Plus is the social network endorsed by the world’s number one search engine that is only growing in popularity. Like its rivals, Google Plus offers you the opportunity to build and manage a business page to promote your organisation or services. In this article we discuss the best ways to get started with your Google+ Business account.
To begin, you will need to have a personal Google account, if you don’t have one yet it’s easy to set up your own. You can only create a business page once your own has been set up.
It’s really important to pick the right, most relevant category you can find that applies to your business, whether it’s a ‘product or brand’, ‘company’, ‘sports’, ‘entertainment’ or ‘arts’. For some of the categories you will need to select a subcategory to go into greater detail about what industry you’re in. Be as relevant as you possibly can in this section as it will help you reach a wider audience in the long run.
An incorrectly filled in or sparse Google Plus profile will give users a bad impression of your company so it is vital that you spend time making it inviting and interesting. Use your brand’s graphic as the profile picture or cover photo to connect it to any other social media profiles you may already be using, this will create a tie-in between the platforms that you update.
Google Plus’s ‘Story’ section enables you to add the ten words that best describe your business and what it does. Try to be as concise as you can here as this will act as the first impression users will get of your business like a tagline. If you can, be consistent with other taglines you have used on other sites or for branding purposes.
Why not add an introduction to your page? If a customer has found you by chance or you’ve become available during a search, they will need to know how valuable you are to them. Give a brief overview of the services and products you provide with a few important keywords added in to increase traffic to your profile and optimise your presence during searches.
Your users may need to contact you at some point so you’ll need to fill out your contact information as thoroughly as you can so don’t forget to add your main website address, telephone, email, address, and fax details.
Sharing links to interesting articles and pictures, whether from your company website or an unrelated source, is a great way to increase viewership. Posting regularly throughout the week will see a boost page views but try not to over post if possible as will be seen as spam to your followers.
Use this content to your advantage and build engagement by using hashtags and actively liking, commenting or sharing other people’s links. See this as a relationship-building exercise. If a fellow users comments on one of your posts, comment back (remembering to tag them so that they’ll see your response).
So your page is all set up; you’ve given your business a virtual presence and posted a few interesting links or videos but now it’s time to start promoting your business and building links with other like-minded businesses or individuals. A Community is a group of people all interested in the same topic sharing articles, blog posts and photographs relevant to the subject. If you’ve shared something on your own profile that you feel may be beneficial to others, share it! It is, however, bad Google Plus etiquette to promote your own services here.
These are only the basics of setting up and using Google plus for your business. There are many other exciting tools and applications available and over time you’ll become familiar with many of them. Once you’re settled, it will give you a place to cultivate potential customers and keep in touch with existing ones.
Do you use Google+ to promote your business? How did you start out? Please leave your comments below…