A few years ago, when Google rolled out its own social network, Google+, there were a few eye rolls. Many people saw the move as a desperate attempt to compete with social media giants Facebook and Twitter. While engagement on the network has been low for individuals –as it turns out, Facebook and Twitter really are better for keeping in touch with friends and family – Google+ has been a boon for businesses. That’s why we often recommend that our clients create and maintain Google+ pages. Not only is it another way to promote your business and services, it also offers a few unique perks.
Send the Right Message
Log into Facebook on any given day, and chances are you’ll see a few baby announcements, a complaint about the traffic or the weather, someone bragging about a recent achievement, and approximately 1,659 vacation photos that probably should have been deleted. While many businesses have Facebook pages, their posts tend to get lost in the avalanche of personal information.
Google+, on the other hand, is a bit more streamlined. When you create a Google+ page for your business, it serves as your public identity and a central place to share your expertise and knowledge. Google+ has approximately 300 million monthly active users, but the level of engagement isn’t all that high. On average, users spent about seven minutes per month on the site. While seven minutes might not seem like a lot, what they’re doing during that time can make or break your business. Searching for goods and services. Looking up business hours. Reading reviews. Google+ automatically creates a page for your company, but until you step in and take control, that page will look barren, empty and closed for business – not exactly the message you want to send to potential customers and clients.
Improve Your SEO
Google+ is a Google product. Seems obvious, right? Something that might not be quite as clear is the fact that Google indexes Plus pages almost as soon as they’re published. It can also index more information, because data isn’t blocked or hidden within another social network, such as Facebook or Twitter.
What does this mean for your business? That having an active and robust Google+ business page will help you rank higher in search results. In many cases, a business’s Google+ page will land higher than the business’s own website. And if Google knows where a user is located (and it usually does – Google knows pretty much everything) then it will tailor that person’s search results to reflect local businesses and companies. Especially savvy users can even search directly in Google+ itself, using it as a filter to find local pages and limiting the number of traditional websites and ads that appear. The more your business uses Google+, by posting content, adding photos, and making sure your information is up-to-date, the quicker you’ll connect to the right people.
Have Fun with Hangouts
One unique thing that Google+ offers is the ability to host a “Hangout.” These live video chats can be used to host private meetings or public webinars. Currently, up to 10 people can actively participate in a Hangout, but many more can watch and listen, which means they’re a great way to launch new products or walk users through demonstrations and training tutorials.
According to Gretchen Howard, global director of social solutions at Google, many different businesses are using Hangouts. “It's technology,” she says, “but it's not scary.” If you’re searching for a unique and creative way to increase engagement, “hanging out” with your audience is a great place to get started.
Sharing is Caring
Maybe you’re reading this and shaking your head. “I’m already on Twitter … and Facebook … and LinkedIn. Do I really need to start posting to Google+, too?”
No, you don’t. But if you’re already creating great content, don’t you want it to reach as many people as possible? If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of tackling yet another social network, that’s okay. It can be hard to keep up with everything, but help is out there. At Sage Island, our marketing team knows exactly how to take advantage of each platform and leverage it to strengthen your brand.
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.
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