Is your business using Google+? If not, you’re missing out on a great place to promote your business and interact directly with over 540 million active users.
Google+ has the same functionality as the other leading social media sites, but uses its own lingo for user actions. Instead of “Liking” a post on Facebook, you “+1” it on Google+. In the same vein, you alert other users to a post by using a “plus” symbol instead of the “at” symbol. Hashtags, which make posts searchable by topic, are used in the same way on Google+ as they are on Facebook and Twitter. Although functionality is the same, Google+ differentiates itself by having some unique features that make it ideal for business use.
1) Google+ allows you to customize who sees your message
Google+ allows you to create as many user Circles as you’d like. These Circles can be customized to separate competitors, peers, and potential customers into groups for direct messaging. For example, if you write a post that’s specifically for your customers, such as a FAQ, you can send it to the Circles that would find it most useful without bothering those users who wouldn’t be interested. This can save you time and give you a more accurate picture of who your target audience is.
2) Google+ offers real engagement with real users
Many businesses buy followers and Likes; Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have become overrun with fake profiles and inflated statistics. Although Google+ does not have as many users as the larger social networks, the users it has are authentic. If you interact with others on the site by +1ing posts and participating in live video events (Hangouts on Air), discussion groups (Communities), and tutorials (Helpouts), you can create real engagement with real people. Google+ users aren’t interested in being sold to; they are overwhelmed with ads and blatant self-promotion on the other social media sites. They are on Google+ to interact, so the more you participate, the more credible your business page will be. Plus, no ads!
3) Google+ gives you room to express yourself
Google+ posts have a maximum length of over 100,000 characters, so you have plenty of space to post detailed blogs, product information, or anything else you may want to share. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, brevity is not expected by Google+ users. In addition, you can draw attention to your posts by using large, high resolution images. Images are stored on your Google Drive account, which gives you 15 GB of space. If you don’t have much time to dedicate to social media and are already using Facebook, an easy-to-use built-in feature on Google+ allows you to cross-post.
4) Google+ improves your SEO
A Google+ page will give your business an additional boost by pushing your page’s posts to the top of the search engine results. The more users +1 your posts, the higher up your page will be within the results. You can add another dimension to the way that your business appears on Google by creating a Google+ badge that adds a live “Follow” link, for your page, within the search results. This prime real estate, on the right hand side of the results, is only available to Google+ users.
Businesses that stand out on Google+ are the ones who recognize the unique attributes of the site and take the time to interact with its loyal users. With more active users than Twitter and more enthusiastic supporters than Facebook, can your business afford to ignore this sleeping giant?