G+ is Google’s social media platform. It was launched in 2011 by invitation-only. G+ followed an earlier but short-lived attempt into social media called “Google Buzz.”
The G+ Choices:
This is a social place where an actual person can engage in the same way as the other social networks. A G+ profile page includes a profile photo, about section, life history and a place to post status updates.
Google+ pages are not actually people – these are pages for businesses or brands. If you would like your business to have social features (Posts, About, Photos, Videos), you can create a Business page from your personal G+ profile. Enter the business address, verify the G+ page and with a bit of luck, a few reviews and some well-chosen keywords in the text, your G+ page might begin to show up as illustrated below:
Martin Shervington has made some fantastic videos and PDFs that explain how to make G+ really work for your business. You can access the videos by signing up for his ‘Google Plus For Business Training, Coaching and Consulting’ course here. And they are free!
Is it worth using G+ for my business?
Clair Cain Miller of the NY Times wrote a fantastic article about this last month.
Starbucks, for instance, has three million followers on Plus, meager compared with its 36 million “likes” on Facebook. Yet it updates its Google Plus page for the sake of good search placement, and takes advice from Google representatives on how to optimize Plus content for the search engine.
When we think about posting on Google Plus, we think about how does it relate to our search efforts,” said Alex Wheeler, vice president of global digital marketing at Starbucks.
The Economist has more fans on Google Plus than on Facebook — six million versus three million — and its journalists use Plus features like Hangouts. Yet Chandra Magee, The Economist’s senior director of audience development, emphasized the value of Plus as a search engine optimization tool.
“There is potential there to help us get in front of new audiences,” she said. “But it also helps with our S.E.O. strategy because our posts on Google Plus actually show up in our search engine results.
Will G+ be “the place to be” for my business in the next few years?
It looks that way. Search advertising on Google has slowed down in the last year and Google’s efforts to get people to use G+ seem to have ramped up. I wonder about the connection. If Google is willing to put enormous effort into getting engagement on G+, what’s in it for them?
With that data, Google can then:
- Improve the match between advertisers and buyers for better sales
- Bring search to the level where information is delivered before you even ask!
It’s my experience that individuals are hesitant to start using yet another social platform. Every day I run into people who know about G+ but don’t know anyone who is using it. It looks to me like Google is making it easy for businesses to take the lead in G+ – and get rewarded. So if you have the resources to jump into social media, why not use the network of the most popular search engine?