Does your brand have a Google Plus page yet? If you're a large company, then the answer is: probably. According to BrightEdge’s December SocialShare report, 77 of the top 100 brands now have Google Plus pages, including Pepsi, Macy's and Toyota.
But what about small businesses? Mashable recently outlined some ways in which small business owners can benefit from Google Plus, such as improving local SEO efforts.
"Google Plus influences search for all the people who have included my business in their circle," Bob Shirilla, director of marketing at personalized tote bag company Simply Bags, told the media outlet.
Another plus for smaller businesses is the use of a feature called Hangouts, which offers companies an opportunity to directly engage in discussions, receive immediate feedback and provide exclusive content, the news source noted in a separate article.
To illustrate how Hangouts works effectively, the media outlet points to the music group The Black Eyed Peas, who hosted a live jam session backstage prior to a concert that users were able to view. Hangout also let them connect with fans, offer inside information and thank them for their support.
"Hangouts offer an amazing opportunity for businesses to engage in a highly personal way with clients, customers and industry thought leaders," Roger Friedensen, president and CEO of Forge Communications, told the news source. "Plus, employees in remote locations can hold team meetings to brainstorm with one another from an interface that affords them immediate and easy access to share and collaborate on most of the information materials they might need, such as documents and spreadsheets."
Other pros for your small business include expansion of content and the ability to connect with early adopters. Because many still view Google Plus as an experimental venture in social media, the primary users will probably be those who take chances on other startup technologies and marketing channels. This could benefit your company if you invest early in a potentially profitable venture.
While the prospect of shifting your business emphasis to a smaller user base may be daunting given a more limited budget, the news source notes in a separate article that because of the reduced traffic, you can focus more on your primary business objectives and reach people more effectively. Between the noise of integration services, "happy birthdays" and pictures from the newly added Timeline, Facebook comes off as a less-professional platform. With Google Plus, small business owners can do what they typically do best - create a personal relationship with their audience.