Google+ is finding itself in a somewhat disadvantaged position of a latecomer to the social media world. Despite the fact that online marketers are always willing to get their hands on any new technological development that could help them promote a business online, they often make a mistake of trying to use Google+ the same way they would use Facebook or Twitter. While it is similar to the other two in many ways, there are some key differences that you need to consider if you want to turn your Google+ into a powerful online marketing tool. The main strategies and steps for launching your successful Google+ campaign are as follows:
1. Create a Google+ business page
It is common sense: keep your business and personal lives separate. Not only will you avoid the embarrassment of accidentally sharing a personal update with your professional circles, you will also be able to take advantage of multiple Google+ features geared towards a business audience. Ability to create professional circles and virtually meet with customers via Google Hangout are the two most practical features Google+ offers. That being said, your business page does have to be linked to your personal account – you can’t create a standalone page the way you would on Facebook.
2. Expand your circles
This is simple, and very similar to any social media platform you want to use for marketing – you do need to make your content visible to as many people as possible. Work on building your audience prior to overwhelming them with affiliate links and product offers – let your circles get to know your company first. Ability to create multiple circles is a great way to segment your customer base and only share specific content with particular groups, thus minimizing the “spamming” effect.
3. Focus on the quality of your content
This applies to all your online content, but it’s even more important for your Google+ page. Research shows that the average age of Google+ users is higher than that of Facebook users, which indicates that your Google+ audience is probably more mature and won’t necessarily be compelled to buy your product if you post a Tinkerbell picture next to it. Keep your stream updates relevant and to the point.
4. Cross-post content from other sites
If you are running a business, you probably already have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and perhaps a company blog or a YouTube channel. Share the content that you publish on your other sites on Google+ – it will create perception of consistency in your customers’ minds and generate more interest in your Google+ account among users who are already following you on other platforms.
5. Add a +1 button anywhere you can
Encourage people to share your content anywhere on the web with a +1 button. Put the button on all the pages of your website and all the posts that you would want your customers to see and share.
6. Capitalize on the fact that it’s a Google product
As an owner of an online business, you know all about the importance of search engine rankings. You have probably done a good amount of SEO for your website. Google+, being a Google product, makes this a little easier. Each +1 share of your content automatically turns into a backlink to your original post. This feature has been implemented very recently – prior to this update, clicking on shared content would take you to the author’s profile, but not the post. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.