[IMAGE left medium] You have a great business and know that you offer a superior product or service. None of that matters, though, if you can’t get customers to come to you. The giant corporations of the world have millions to throw at advertising. You have to be more judicious, choosing the methods that work best for you.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Google, they do offer a great way for small and medium-sized businesses to connect. One of their tools is called Google Plus.
Just as Facebook is set up as a social media site, Google Plus is set in a way that allows you to network with friends, family, customers, and suppliers. Anything you include on your individual network will show up on the news feeds of anyone you are connected to through Google Plus. Whereas friends on Facebook push “like” when they appreciate something you’ve said or shown, associates on Google Plus push “+1” to indicate their pleasure.
Google Plus has a feature called “Google Hangouts,” a live streaming video chat that allows you to meet with more than two people at the same time. Whereas FaceTime and Skype only allow you to speak with one party via video call, Hangout gives you the option of inviting several people into the same call.
Granted, it’s a different bunch using Google Plus than currently uses Facebook. Google Plus users tend to be more tech-savvy and more likely to post their own thoughts rather than simply respond to someone else’s. Facebook users tend to be looking for social interaction, whereas Google Plus users want a mix of social and business. Google Plus users are primarily in the U.S. at this point, although that will change with expansion.
The fact that the word “Google” can be used as a verb -- as in “Google it” -- indicates that it is the biggest game in town. Some say it’s the only game when it comes to building a business.
Google Plus has approximately one-fifth the active users as Facebook, and yet it is likely to have a greater impact on your business. This is because inclusion on Google Plus will impact the search when someone Googles your type of business. The goal is to be ranked “higher” on a Google search than other businesses. Taking part early on can make that happen.
Because it’s only been around for a couple of years, Google Plus is still considered a new platform. You can bet that your competitors will make Google Plus part of their marketing strategy, if they haven’t already. Getting in there now gives you the opportunity to figure out how to use it in a way that works for you before everyone else signs on.
Having a Google Plus business page means you will show up on Google Maps when customers begin a local search. You’ll need to provide content, so remember who your primary audience is at this point. They tend to be younger, predominantly male, and appreciative of smart content.
There’s no limit to the words you can use on Google Plus, so take the opportunity to really sell your business.