There is no shortage of social media platforms. Facebook has the most users and Twitter is not far behind, so the question becomes, “why Google+?” The answer is rather simple—because Google owns it. Google has completely revamped their search algorithm—from penalizing sites with bad links and duplicate content, to rewarding sites that are adequately engaging via social media. Google is incorporating a layer of social media into virtually everything, so now is the time to get involved and begin engaging on the Google-owned platform.
Here are some useful tips in creating and managing your Google+ campaign:
- In the About tab, the introduction needs to be a keyword rich description of the services you provide and the company itself. Also, the introduction is a great area to include links.
- In the About tab, you should include your office hours, website URL, contact information, and links to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blog.
- Google+ business pages, like personal profiles, feature a Photos tab. In this area, you should be uploading images that establish your company as an active member of community—fundraisers you attend and support, promotional images, office activities.
- Instead of Facebook “friends,” Google+ features Circles. When someone adds you to his or her Circle, you will receive a notification and the appropriate response is to add them into one of your Circles. We would encourage you to keep your Circles well organized.
- A company page should make special efforts to engage with their followers. When a user posts something interesting, click the +1 on the post (the equivalent to a Facebook “like”). By doing so, you begin to build a rapport with your followers. Ideally, they will +1 your posts and links.
- Like Facebook, Google+ gives users the ability to post/share stories, links, and media. This is a great channel to post recall notices, new videos, photos, blog URLs, news stories, and community-related links. The rule of thumb is to not post more than 1 update a day that directs the user to the website—to prevent appearing too self-promoting. You should aim for 2 updates/day, and reply to those attempting to engage with you. Pay attention to stories receiving the most engagement and model your future posts with that in consideration.
- We would also strongly recommend the addition of a Google +1 button to your website. A Google +1 button allows visitors to recommend a website to their contacts.
- Login to your Gmail account associated with your company
- Click on the upside down triangle on the right side of the screen to switch to your company business page.
You should see your personal Google profile (if you have one linked) and then the company in the drop down. Click on the page link.
- A new window will open with the Company Page. On the top will be a notification: “You are now using Google+ as Company X”. Click “Ok”
- You are ready to use the page.
HOW TO USE:
Similar to most other social networks (Facebook/Twitter) it is wise to practice the 80/20 rule: Twenty percent of the content you share on Google+ should be about you – your blog posts, your events, your newsletters, your videos, your images – and 80 percent should be about someone else. The simplest way to do this is to post similar links and content on Google+ as you do Facebook or Twitter.
Also similar to Facebook, Google+ encourages images and videos and will index them higher. Emphasis should be on posting company branded visual content.
A good rule of thumb, regarding social media posting, is to share links back to your website around 3 pm. Mid-day on Wednesdays is said to be the time of week when most social media users are active.
Along the left hand side, you will see icons that will let you quickly link to what type of content you want to post.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GOOGLE+ PAGES AND PROFILES
- Pages can’t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned.
- The default privacy setting for elements on your page profile is public.
- Pages have the +1 button.
- Pages can’t +1 other pages, nor can they +1 stuff on the Web. (But like profiles, they can +1 inside Google+.)
- Local pages (like your company’s) have special fields that help people find the business’ physical location.
Google has merged Google Places with Google+, so now there is more need to maintain Google+ activity.