Many small business owners remain unsure of what exactly Google Plus is and why they should use it. After all, with so many social networks to choose from, why would you need yet another one? Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are hugely popular these days but strangely enough we do not hear as much about Google’s own social network. Small business owners often can not see the benefit of starting yet another social platform, especially when they do not know very many other people that are using Google Plus. Although it may not be as hip and trendy as the better known networks, there are a number of very good reasons to start using Google Plus regularly.
Here are some compelling arguments, along with some really cool features you can only use on Google Plus, for why Google Plus will make a huge difference in your social media marketing strategy for your business:
Relationships Equal Sales
Building relationships with people who are influencers in your industry are vital to your business. Whether you realize it or not, these relationships can extend your reach and make you much more visible. If you have put time and effort into relationships with a large brand in your industry using Google Plus, those people will be much more likely to recommend your business to one of their thousands of followers when they are in your area. If they know you and trust you, your business will be the one they think of when the right time comes along.
As a small business owner, you need to ask yourself if SEO is important to you. If your answer is yes then Google Plus is for you. If you offer great content on Google Plus, people can like it and share it. This increases your visibility and reach.
The value of getting a new customer who moves over to you from your competitor cannot be overstated. Users of Google Plus are technology lovers and early adopters and your customers will be using it sooner than later, if they aren’t already.
An important thing to keep in mind is that no one loves Google more than Google itself. And don’t you want Google to love your business and the content you produce too? Google is at the epicenter of all search engines and research suggests that profiles that do well on Google Plus get indexed quicker on Google. Google Plus has 540 million active monthly users and is growing tremendously, with over 25 percent of worldwide Internet users now active on Google Plus, according to GlobalWebIndex. This figure means that your customers will eventually, if not already, be using it too.
Below are some features you can use only on Google Plus:
– Google Authorship
Any blogs or websites you own or contribute to can be linked to your Google Plus profile so a thumbnail version of your photos shows up next to it in search results. Any profile photo that you see beside a search result means that a Google Plus person has added a blog or website address in the “Contributor to” section of their profile.
As a business owner with a Google Plus profile, you can send an email to any one of your Google Plus connections, even if you don’t have their email address. Simply start typing someone’s name in the “To’ section and anyone who matches the names of people you have within your Google Plus circles will pop up as an option.
–Share your location via Google Maps
Using your Google Plus stream, you can share you location through Google Maps. Conversely, if someone in your circles shares their location via Google Maps, you can also view it. For businesses, you can connect your Google Plus Page to your Google Maps listing.
–Event syncing to Google Calendar
Your Google Calendar can be synced with your Google Plus. Any event or schedule that you have created or have been invited to on Google Plus will automatically be added. You can also share you calendar with others so they can see the details of an event, including such things as a description, location, theme, time and date.
–Photo sharing and file sharing using Google Drive
Similar to the Google Calendar, you can store, sync and share files from your Google Drive on Google Plus. If you store photos, videos or PDF files, you can open and view folders and files in Google Plus and can access them from anywhere. You can also share them with the people in your circles.
All YouTube channels are required to be connected to a Google Plus account. Any videos that are uploaded can be put in the “Videos” section on your Google Plus profile and can be shared with the people in your circles. You can also customize who can see your YouTube comments, since commenting is also done through Google Plus.
With Google Hangouts, small businesses can use free live video conferencing for as many as 10 people. Reach out to customers, dealers, social media contacts and vendors for free. Also, you can be a part of Hangouts that others initiate and reach out to industry leaders.
Google Plus is a virtual goldmine of worthwhile content and sharing that you can use to market and promote your business. If you aren’t on Google Plus, it’s time to get started!