Have you noticed that it is becoming harder and harder to reach your potential customers on social media these days?
This can be as a result of several factors, including:

  • Increased noise, largely due to a combination of more people using the platforms, more content being shared and people having more connections; and
  • Algorithms being used (e.g. on Facebook) to reduce the potential negative impacts of so much noise, resulting in decreased reach for content that does not receive high engagement

Because of this, it is becoming increasingly important to take a multi channel approach to your social media strategy. If you can surround your audience with multiple touch points via different social media platforms, then you have more opportunities to build a business relationship with your prospects.
I regularly talk about the benefits of Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, but I haven’t written much about the sleeping giant of social media lately, so I am addressing that today.
I believe Google+ (or G+ if you go by it’s more affectionate name) is a sleeping giant at present. “Sleeping” because too few businesses truly understand the potential benefits it has to offer. When more people wake up to what G+ can do for business, is when it’s giant potential will become a reality.
It's time to wake the social media sleeping giant - Google+
Someone who does know all about Google+ is Melinda Samson (aka Mel) from Click Winning Content. She’s my go-to-gal for all things Google.
I recently interviewed Mel to discuss the benefits of Google+ for business and why G+ should be considered as part of your social media strategy and here’s what she had to say…

What is Google+?

As well as being a social network, Google+ is a social layer that connects you across Google services like Google Search, Maps, Gmail and YouTube.
Your Google+ profile is your online brand across these Google products and services.

What are the major benefits of including Google+ as part of your social media marketing mix?

Google+ combines many of the best features of other social media platforms. For example:

  • Like Twitter, you can follow anyone, it doesn’t need to be a two way relationship
  • Like Facebook, you can have a Business Page in addition to your personal Profile
  • Like Instagram and Pinterest, images look amazing
  • Like Groups on LinkedIn, you can join Google+ communities in order to connect with people with similar interests

Added to that Google+ has the power to help your web content get more visibility and hence more traffic from Google. For example, due to personalised search, if someone is logged into Google when they search, and they have added you to their Google+ Circles (which is similar to Liking your Page on Facebook) they are more likely to see your content in their search results.
Also, as each Google+ post can appear in the search results, the more you build your Google+ network and create posts about relevant content which people engage with and share, the more opportunities you have for your content to be discovered via Google search.

Who should be using Google+?

Anyone who wants to get more web traffic from Google!

What types of businesses does Google+ work best for?

All Business Owners can get value from being active on Google+ particularly if you’re in the B2B space. This is because businesses with a local listing on Google Maps now also have a Google+ Business Page (you can set up a Google My Business Page which connects your business across Google Maps, local search and Google+ at google.com.au/business).
More and more businesses are starting to get socially active via their Google My Business Pages and therefore it’s a great place to connect with business owners. The Business Page can interact in the same way as a person in terms of engaging with other people’s content, sharing updates and joining communities. This creates a huge opportunity to promote your brand.
Images shared via Google+ look incredible, so it’s a particularly powerful platform for people who share quality images, such as photographers, artists, galleries, designers and any business that wants to highlight products, services or special events via custom images.
Many eCommerce businesses are also successfully using Google+ by sharing a mix of fun, lighthearted content combined with images and details of the products they have available.

Can you provide an example of what businesses are doing to achieve success on Google+ at present?

The key to Google+ success is to engage with others and create a highly engaged audience. By doing this your content will increasingly reach more and more people, providing you with more and more opportunities to generate business.

What are your Top Tips for creating an engaged audience on Google+?

  • Start by creating a great looking profile that includes a high quality profile photo and customised cover image
  • Engage with other people’s content for example by Liking (or as we say in the Google+ world “plus one’ing”), Commenting and Sharing
  • Customise your posts specifically for Google+, rather than sharing them via an automated tool. This allows you take advantage of the long character limit as well as the formatting features such as bold and italics, which help your posts stand out in the stream of updates that others see
  • Join Communities in order to connect with other people with similar interests. For example if you’re an Australian Business owner, join our friendly community of Awe-inspiring Australian Businesses
  • When you’re new to Google+ avoid ticking the “also send email” box with every update you share, as this can be perceived as SPAM

Where should people go if they want to learn more about how to use Google+ for business?

Martin Shervington’s www.plusyourbusiness.com and the Plus Your Business Google+ Community is a great place to learn more about Google+ for business.