Can Google+ help you market your business?
Boingnet has been working over the past month or so at preparing for our version 2 launch, as readers know. As a part of the preparation, we’ve started the process of creating a presence on Google+. Like most businesses or even most humans, the reach of Google and the pervasiveness of Google’s integration of Google+ into it’s blockbuster properties makes it hard not to at least pay attention to it.
To date, we’ve been posting content on Google+ via Hootsuite, with little variation between what gets posted vs. our other primary social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). We hope over time to develop unique audiences in each of these channels and to treat them completely independently, but at this point, we are early in the process and we are still feeling out the best ways to maximize the impact of each social platform.
We have found some unique qualities and capabilities of G+ (I hope Google doesn’t mind us referring to their darling in the familiar). First, we do appreciate that Google has realized that pages for businesses are somewhat different than pages for people. Facebook seems to struggle with this concept. Second, if you are a local retail business, you MUST SET UP A G+ PAGE. Simply put, Google will feature you in Search and Maps much more prominently than if you haven’t taken the time to set up your page. You want people near you to find you when it is time for them to buy. It’s a bit of a pain (involves a robo call and multiple steps for you to authenticate yourself) but it is worth it. It is especially important for your customers to leave positive comments as a local business, these will further help you stand out in Search & Maps. Finally, for businesses like Boingnet, which isn’t a local retailer, Google has created a concept called Direct Connect (did they talk to Nextel first?) that enables users of Google Search (meaning every human with a computer, tablet or smartphone) to see your G+ page pop up as a part of a Search result. Those of us who spend lots of time trying to figure out how to get Google to give us more publicity for free should pay attention!
Google+ is supposed to be building an audience – we hope that it works for them. As developers, we find Google easy to work with, and, the world of social media needs a behemoth like Google to keep it honest. Do you have any thoughts on G+? Any successes or failures? Let us know.
UPDATE: Clearly, the full affect of Google+ Authorship is still being measured, but by all accounts, if you want your content to show up in Google Searches – you are much better off claiming authorship of things like blog posts. This is a no brainer for anyone in the content marketing world. If you are creating content but haven’t set up your authorship – Get On It!