As many businesses look to better engage with their customers, especially through means such as social media, some are likely wondering if Google+ should be in their plans in 2012.
For those who may have been under a social media rock recently, Google+ has emerged in recent months as one of the buzz terms in the SM venue. Unveiled in 2011, Google+ had amassed some 40 million users just by the end of October; not bad for a new social media venture.
Google’s new online sharing and social media service, once available only through an invite from someone else, has been creeping into more company’s social media strategies in recent months.
If you’re a business owner who is a bit of a novice when it comes to Google+, the tool essentially permits you to share details, send messages and chat. Unlike the rival Facebook, Google+ allows users to more easily select who they want to share certain details with via what are known as individualized “circles” and “hangouts.”
In order to increase your chances of opening more doors to your business, ways you can use Google+ include:
- Using the +1 feature – This button, which shows up by articles and ads in search results online, allows you to share things like magazine and newspaper articles related to your specific industry. By doing so, you show yourself to be a good source of information on your respective product/s and or services. You can also +1 your company’s online content and get it in front of more sets of eyes;
- Giving your brand more exposure – There are a number of ways to do this, including providing your photo or a video with your page. By doing so, you allow others to become more familiar with you, making it easier for them to identify you either online or in person. Let’s say you post a photo of yourself on the page. This in turn can lead to people wanting to know more about you and searching online for information on you. Next thing you know, your brand is the winner;
- Organizing those of importance – Given the “circles” feature, business owners can categorize those they want to follow in different sections on their page. You can build those contacts into areas like direct contacts, media contacts, social media contacts, potential clients and more;
- ‘Hangout’ with potential clients and partners – With the “hangouts’ feature, business owners can interact one-on-one with individuals of interest to them. The video feature is a great way to teleconference with employees and any other key individuals, especially if your office staff and/or clients are spread out nation or worldwide.
Those are but a few of the advantages to using Google+ in 2012 and beyond.
Remember, Google is the king of search engines, so using its latest social media tool will allow you to gain more exposure when used regularly and wisely.
The more individuals who know about your products and/or services are likely to translate into a better return on investment (ROI) for your business.
Best of all, Google+ costs nothing to use, other than some time and effort.
Dave Thomas, who covers topics such as starting a small business, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.