An article by Xaffo was recently published in SMBNow highlighting recent plans from Google to offer Google+ for businesses. The article explores ways SMBs can leverage Google+ for promotions and measurement of social media success. Below is an excerpt of the article. You can also read it in its entirety at SMBNow.
Google+ for Businesses Now Available for SMBs; Also Best Time for a Trial
by Mangala Karunaratne
In August 2012, Google announced a preview version of Google+ specific to schools, businesses and government agencies. Google+ for businesses is available as an app in the Google Apps Marketplace. Word is Google will offer it free through 2013 and then start charging for it. This makes now the right time to trial Google+ to conduct SMB brand awareness via this social network.
There are plenty of expected features in Google+ for businesses that SMBs can leverage for anything from collaboration to SEO. Google+ will likely integrate with Google Docs, Gmail and Calendar for collaboration. You can probably expect to be able to video chat while collaborating. Hangouts are also expected to be integrated with these other Google tools. The social site will offer private and public sharing. Enhanced administrative tools are also expected to provide capabilities such as company-wide sharing defaults for posts. Such collaborative features are great but, SMBs would do well to remember the main purpose of Google+ should be to support brand awareness.
Most experts agree Google+ came about to compete with Facebook. Leading social media sites demonstrate their power and need for SMBs to take advantage of them. For example, in 2011 Nielsen found that more than 80 percent of all Americans use a social network. They also found Americans spend more time on Facebook than any other USA website. In addition, market research company Lab42 reported in September 2012 that roughly 50 percent of consumers think a brand’s Facebook page is more useful than the brand’s website. And, in October 2012 Facebook surpassed one billion users. It’s no wonder why Google has developed Google+ to compete with Facebook.
Google+ for business is free for SMBs – until 2013.
Google+ for SMB Brand Awareness
You can expect that using Google+ will enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) with Google. This is just one important reason for getting on Google+. First, you’ll want to setup a Google+ business page. This will include providing basic information about your business and specifying categories to be in. Remember to optimize your profile for search engine rankings. Once setup you’ll want to start developing your Circles. Circles are friends you invite to be part of your Google+ page. You can categorize each person, for example for business, friends, etc. Segmenting your audience is a good idea as you can target your posts specifically to Circles. For example, let’s say your SMB sells restaurant supplies to local restaurants and to walk-in customers. You might want to create a Circle for each to target special savings for each one. Read the rest of the article here.
- Five Tips for Ensuring a Good Social Media Reputation
- SMBs Continue to March Toward More Investment in Social Media
- Google+ for Businesses Now Available for SMBs; Also Best Time for a Trial
- How to Utilize Social Media to Grow your Business
- Xaffo™ Updated for Brand-Centric Social Media Monitoring and Analytics
- Google+ Analytics
- SMB social media
- Social Media Analytics
- Social Media Intelligence
- Social Media Measurement
- Social Media ROI
- Social Media Tool