While Google Plus (Google+) is not as widely used as other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it can still be a pretty powerful tool for small businesses. Besides the fact that it has an active social network comprised of 250 million users, it’s also owned by Google so using this social platform means long-term SEO value for your business. There’s also the impressive fact that Google Plus has a number of Google resources that you can use such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, Hangouts, and AdWords which are all intended to help you boost your marketing strategy.
If you’re thinking of using Google Plus for your business, here are nine ways you can do it:
1. Create your business Google+ page
Just like most social media platforms, you can set up a personal as well as a business page in Google+. If you’ve already got a personal Google+ page, then you might as well create a Google+ business page. All you have to do is go to “Google My Business,” choose the best business category that’s related to your business, then follow the rest of the prompts to create your business page. You just need a Google or Gmail account to link to, and you should be well on your way to creating a business page.
2. Upload a professional profile photo
As soon as you set up a Google+ page, your profile photo will always appear next to comments on Google+ and YouTube as well as on Google itself if you’re using Google Authorship. Therefore, you need to either upload a business logo or a professional photo. You’re better off uploading a photo of yourself rather than a business logo because you’ll be able to reach out to your customers on a more personal level.
3. Your about page needs to be on point
You need to make sure that your business description in Google+ is very thorough and descriptive because your about page is what Google indexes for its search engine, therefore you need to make it as detailed as possible to boost your search engine ranking. Google+ actually allows bullet points on your About page so that you can use it to your advantage and you can be as descriptive as possible. Make sure your description contains the relevant keywords and links so that anyone would know what your business is all about at a glance.
4. Post consistently
If you’re posting an article on your Google+ page, you have to make sure your focus keywords are contained in that blog post, and you also have to make sure you’re posting consistently. The best thing about Google+ is that it’s run by the biggest search engine on the planet so Google will give preference to search results found on Google+. The more you post, the better your chances are of getting indexed by Google.
5. Use hashtags strategically
Although hashtags are more widely used on Instagram and Twitter, it’s also a thing in Google+. You can link your content on Google+ to related subjects or trending topics using relevant hashtags, and the best thing is, any hashtags you use on Google+ will end up showing up in Google searches. Unlike Instagram where you can use up to 30 hashtags, you only need around a couple of relevant hashtags at the bottom of your content for it to be picked up by Google.
6. Add a variety of multimedia to your content
Content with more images will always rank better than those without in any social media platform, and the same goes for Google+. Try adding videos or even GIFs to make your business page much more attractive to generate more engagement from your readers.
7. Engage with other users
Similar to other social media platforms, if you want your business page to grow then you need to engage with other users to grow your network of connections. Friends on Google+ are organized in “circles,” and a business page can’t actually circle another Google+ user unless that user circles you first. If you want to grow your connection, then you need to interact with other Google+ users constantly. Engage with users and participate by clicking +1 or leaving comments to show others that you want to connect with them on a more personal level.
8. Join Google events and Google+ hangouts
Google+ actually allows its users to create virtual events just like in Facebook. Google’s events feature will enable you to send out custom invitations to anyone even if they don’t have a Google+ account. If you have a live event that you want to promote, you can always choose ‘Party Mode’ where your guests can upload photos immediately and even create a real-time group photo album. There’s also the option of inviting people to Google+ Hangouts which is a multi-person live chat feature wherein Google enables you to interact via text, images, voice call, and video chat. Majority of the businesses use Hangouts to set up conferences, hold meet-and-greet sessions, or keep up to date with their clients.
9. Google Authorship
Google Authorship is actually an SEO tool that makes Google+ users in Google search more prominent. It’s a great way to link the content that you’ve created with your Google+ profile. You can set up Google Authorship by adding a link to your blog or any website that you contribute to – you basically just need to include a link to your Google+ profile at the end of any blog post you publish.