If you own or run a business that is looking to get more customers on Google Plus please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have several packages that will help a business expand their reach on Google Plus as well as in search.
The numbers are in. There are hundreds of millions of people using Google Plus. Some businesses have adjusted Internet marketing to help push content through Google Plus and other Google products. When it comes down to it, every business wants to gain new customers and make money. Unfortunately, getting customers and business from Google Plus can be difficult.
With so many users submitting and sharing content on Google Plus how can a business reach some of those that may be interested in their product? Social media requires creativity. Simply posting a link to services or products is not going to entice potential customers to click on the link and make a purchase. It takes true branding and finding those that are interested in your business or services.
If you are sushi restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina it is highly unlikely that you will get customers from Palo Alto, California. It is also unlikely that you will get customers who spend their time explaining why they cannot eat fish or seafood. This would be wasted dollars and labor when it comes to marketing. With that in mind, it is smart to understand where to spend time on Google Plus.
Google Plus is Not Facebook
Google Plus is the social layer of Google. It is Google’s way of connecting all of Google’s products which include YouTube, Android, GMail, Google Maps and Search. This means Google Plus is much more than a social network. It is truly a layer of a much larger Internet company. Google Plus is utilized into almost all Google services. In time, Google has plans to integrate Google Plus into every Google product.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, Google Plus can be used in many different ways. Instagram is solely for pictures and short videos. Pinterest is only for pinned photos. Twitter limits users to 140 characters or less. Facebook is mostly for connecting with friends and family. Wouldn’t it be great if all of these social networks were combined where you could do it all in one place? Enter Google Plus.
Google has worked very hard to create a product that can be used to submit any type of content. This content can then be shared to any group of people. Whether you are a photographer, a chef or the owner of a car dealership there are options to share content related to your business. What makes Google Plus even better is the fact that Google is starting to use Google Plus in search. When users are logged in, their search results are altered based on the accounts they have in circles or what is most commonly known as following.
Google Owns Search and Google Plus Enhances It
With Google owning 66% of search it would be wise for any business to utilize any and all Google products. Google+ Local has been incorporated into Google Maps. We are seeing much more YouTube and Android integration as it relates to Google Plus. It stands to reason that Google Plus will greatly affect organic search in the very near future. These are all reasons that businesses would benefit from Google Plus.
If you own a business that gets customers from search and social media it is a no brainer to use Google Plus. Unfortunately, many businesses have not put this into their marketing plan because they feel as if there are more people on Facebook. While that may be true there are many more people searching Google for services and products every day than will ever think about using Facebook to find those needs.
Google Plus Communities Allow Businesses to Find Customers
A quick way to find customers or business on Google Plus is to search for communities related to your niche. There are thousands of active communities where Google Plus users are discussing topics such as smartphones, travel, hotels, places to eat and TV shows. No matter what your industry, there is likely an active Google Plus community.
Something that Google Plus does much better than Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is search. Google has owned the search market for quite some time so it is no surprise that Google Plus has great search results. When searching on Facebook or Twitter it is easy to find individuals but very difficult to find results for subjects. By searching Google Plus for “restaurants in Chicago” you will find many great search results that will help you find new customers.
When finding these new customers it is a good decision to put them in a specific circle. I would never try to sell them something immediately. Try to provide value to that user before attempting to sell a service or product. As a business, you may even want to offer something unique such as a behind the scenes look at the business or a free appetizer with a meal. I think we all know how effective an enhanced experience can be.
Google Plus is About Relationships
Facebook and Twitter forced businesses to think outside the box. They had to come up with unique photos, memes or contests to get more likes or retweets. As we continue to progress in the Internet marketing space businesses are going to have to start building relationships. It is no longer the case that a pet insurance company can share a photo of a cat and get 10,000 likes on Facebook. If they hope to do that they will likely have to pay to play the game.
Even when Ellen set the record for the most retweets of a selfie it was a paid endorsement by Samsung. The companies with deep pockets can pay for marketing but some of the smaller companies may have to find a different way to reach out to those potential life long customers. One great way to do this is to build a relationship with that customer. Google Plus offers a great commenting system that will allow any business or personal profile to comment on a public Google Plus post.
If someone in Chapel Hill, NC has posted about their experience at the Top of the Hill restaurant it would be smart for TOPO to comment and thank them for their business. If there was a complaint this is a perfect opportunity for TOPO to alleviate the concerns of the customer by asking how they can fix the problem. This is not limited to just the restaurant industry.
There are often problems when it comes to the hosting of a website. If a web hosting company sees issues during a particular outage it would be a good time to illustrate the services they offer. I would never suggest commenting on every single post in which someone was upset, but it doesn’t hurt to create a unique Google Plus post explaining the luxuries of working with a hosting company that does not have outages or fixes them quickly.
Creativity is Key
Throughout this entire resource you have probably noticed that creativity comes into play in almost every aspect of using social media for business. Unfortunately, some business owners are just not able to spend the time to come up with creative ways to reach out to customers or new business. If you need assistance with Google Plus or any social network please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com. I offer several Google Plus and social media packages that can help a business expand exposure.
While Google Plus is great for SEO (search engine optimization) it is also a wonderful way to find new customers. Think about incorporating this into your marketing plan in the near future. As we move forward more and more users are going to sign up for Google Plus. Creating a presence before Google Plus becomes one of the largest social networks ever will only be beneficial to a company or brand. Luckily, there is still time to grab your real estate and build a brand on Google Plus.
In the next few years Google will implement Google Plus into almost every service they offer. This is great news for the businesses that understand the product. Google Plus can be a little bit difficult to understand at first so reach out to some of the consultants and experts that have spend countless hours testing how the social layer works. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google Plus is an all encompassing social layer that can be used in many ways. Find a way to make it work for your business and you will reap the rewards many years into the future.
How I Feel About Shared Circles
Shared circles have been a hot topic of debate on Google Plus for well over two years. It is a way that some users can gain a following quickly but it is more of a baiting scheme. Some people have used the method that you have to +1 and reshare the circle to be included in the circle. I have never been a fan of this. In fact, I was one of the first people to say it was wrong in October of 2012. We are not well into 2014 and there are still many users that use the circle baiting method to try and grow a following.
One of the reasons I feel as if this is not smart is because it is not creating a group of people that actually want to consume your content. It is very similar to the follow back style of growth from Twitter and other social networks. You will end up clogging your stream with users that have no interests that compare to yours. When I first started to get active on Google Plus in March of 2012 I followed as many people as I could just to have something in my stream. I quickly realized that this was a bad decision.
Through and through I am a sports and business guy. I had cat gifs, India SEO work and North California restaurant information coming through my stream. I live in North Carolina. The fact that Google Plus was brand new made it hard to find people with similar interests. Instead, I just followed anyone. Within a few months I realized I was not enjoying my experience. I quickly unfollowed many of these users as I deleted all of my circles. This is what tends to happen if you get caught up in the circle sharing game.
Google Plus Business Page Views Number
In late March 2014 Google Plus changed the overall look of profiles and business pages. When going to the About Section of a personal profile or a local business page you will clearly see that it has the number of followers and the number of views. The number of views can be very telling as to the success of the overall account. If the Google Plus local page has been dormant for months and there is little to no activity this view number could be very low. If competitors are actively using Google+ and getting reshared by influencers and bigger names their view count could be in the millions.
Some of my clients are well over 1 million views for their local business page. While no one knows if this will affect SEO or search rankings it stands to reason that Google put it on the pages for a reason. I personally feel as if Google did this to adjust user behavior a little bit. It has been well known that Google Plus is a place for SEO, Social Media and marketing conversation but that is not always fun and engaging. In fact, some would say that Google+ can get boring if everyone is talking about the same thing all the time. The views number will encourage both personal pages and profiles to share engaging information that is enjoyable to consume.
If Google Plus has been confusing for you it is completely understandable. It is a very comprehensive tool that has several layers. Fortunately, I offer several packages to help businesses get their name “out there” on Google+. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss some of the opportunities available. As mentioned, I have several clients that have received over 1 million views on their Google+ local business page. These clients are also seeing tremendous growth in search results. It is impossible to say there is a direct correlation but it definitely has not hurt them to have a Google+ Local Page that is verified.
Every time Google releases numbers related to Google Plus they are very positive. Recently, a survey showed that just as many people with Twitter have Google Plus. This was hard for me to believe at first but I can say that I have seen an uptick in the number of people actively engaging on Google Plus; especially within the communities. There is a good chance that more and more small businesses will start to use Google Plus because they have lost quite a bit of reach with their Facebook Page.
Facebook has made it pay to play and some small businesses just do not have the most to pay to promote every single post they create. If they are unwilling to pay to promote a post their reach can be close to zero. If you have less than 50 or 100 “fans” or “likes” on Facebook it won’t even allow your business to promote a post. This is something to think about if you are just getting started on social media and you are hoping to gain exposure through a presence on a social network. Pinterest and Google Plus continue to dominate when it comes to social media networks that affect search. The main reason for this is the fact that Google spiders can easily crawl both of these social networks.
Something else to think about when it comes to views on a Google+ business page is the competition. If you are an eye doctor or a lawyer and your main competition has 1 million views and you only have 25,000 who is going to call your office? Do you honestly think searchers are going to call the doctor or lawyer that has a smaller social presence and a smaller engagement rate on Google+? While this may be right or wrong human beings are often drawn to numbers. They are going to call the law office of doctors office that happens to have a large number of views or followers. We saw this with Facebook and Twitter and now we are starting to see it with Google+. In the next six months it will not surprise me to see many large businesses trying to grow the total number of page and profile views. This can be difficult if you are new to Google+ but you’ve got to start somewhere.
Finding the Reach of Your Google+ Page or Account
Below is an image that shows the overall reach ranking for profiles in the United States. I was fortunate enough to be #1 on this particular April day. This does not mean that I am in the top 10 often but it does show that I have honed my skills of reaching a very broad audience on Google+. Here is the image:
There have been a few times that I have cracked the top 20 for the United States but please understand that this is not easy to do. In fact, most will find that it takes months and years to build up this type of engagement. I have been active on Google+ since March of 2012 and I have built my following to over 600,000. As a local business, you must accept that this simply is not going to happen. If you can build a following of 200 you will be doing very well.
A website that I like to use to track my progress is GPlusdata. You will be able to find out how your personal and business pages are stacking up against the other profiles or pages in your state or country. It breaks it down to reach, shares, comments and engagement. I am not 100% certain what engagement is considered. It may be a combination of all three. That said, the ultimately goal of any business, big or small, is to get more customers from social media. By branding the correct way you will be able to expand your reach. If you would like to discuss expanding the reach of your business on Google+ please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com. There is a possibility that our businesses could work together to help you expand your presence in search and on social media.