The Marketer’s Field Guide to Google Plus Business Pages
Google+ business pages have been a hot topic these past few weeks since their launch on November 7, 2011.
In the days and weeks ahead we’ll be hearing more about how brands and small businesses are doing as they become acclimated to Google+. In the meantime, we think you’ll find some helpful hints here about what is essential for getting a good start on Google+ business pages and how to best engage with your community.
In this post, we offer: a number of how-to resources, helpful Google+ tips, important reminders about promoting your Google+ page, advice for small businesses regarding Google+, and best practices for marketing on Google+.
In the past couple of weeks there’s been a plethora of how-to posts for getting started on Google+ for businesses. Below are links to six resources which should be helpful to get you up and running in no time:
- How to set up a google page for your business
- How to set up and use a google page for business
- How to set up google for your business or brand
- How to google plus brand page
- How to create a google business page in 5 simple steps
And, one of the best resources I’ve come across yet is HubSpot’s free eBook, How to Use Google+ for Business which goes into a lot of detail including: marketing best practices with your Google+ page, the benefits of Google+ in search, the value of segmentation with Google+ Circles and how to incorporate the +1 button on your blog.
If you’re looking for one resource, the eBook will be a highly comprehensive choice.
Helpful Google+ Business Tips
John Haydon has some helpful tips in his recent post, where he suggests amongst other things:
- create an awesome “about” tab
- use an attractive main image
- turn your avatar into a gallery
- seek to help your clients/customers/donors instead of only promoting your organization
- search for conversations around your cause
- hangout with fans, volunteers and donors in a video conference (up to 10 people at a time) to collaborate on shared documents or just have a casual chat.
If You Build It, Will They Come?
Lance Whitney’s post based on BrightEdge’s study is an eye-opener and one that reminds of us the importance to promote your presence on Google+. The study found that a startling 61 of the world’s top 100 brands (from BrandZ’s 100 Most Valuable Brands ) had not displayed a link from their website to their new Google+ page which BrightEdge sees a a key way to round up followers. BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu stated, “Brands have been quick to embrace a presence on Google+ but clearly there is a long way to go in establishing social networks that really have scale and deep user engagement.”
Whitney suggests that brands need to do more than just set up their Google+ pages. “They also have to promote them from their own Web sites and other electronic media. They also need to tap into features such as Google Badges, which let them link their Web sites with their Google+ pages to cross-promote them.”
Note: To get Google badges, users need to sign up at the Google+ Platform Preview and then create and customize your badge at the Google+ configuration tool page. The page will generate a script that you’ll code into your Web site to enable and display the badge.
Small Business and Google+ Pages
Stephanie Christensen offers advice for small-business owners. She says, “Small business owners can use two other Google+ features to gain visibility. First, add the +1 button to your company’s website, which allows visitors to recommend it with a single click…add a Google+ badge to your website, which will lead users to your Google+ business page and allow them to follow your business’ updates, media, and other content you share.”
Stephanie says there are three reasons why you should create a Google+ business page:
- search visibility
- targeted messaging
- online brand control
Interesting to note: HubSpot reported websites that use Google’s +1 button generated 3.5 times more traffic from Google+ that websites that don’t have the button installed.
Marketing Best Practices
HubSpot recommends that to get the most from your Google+ business page in terms of traffic and leads that businesses should follow these practices:
- share lots of photos
- add recommended links in the “about” tab of your Google+ page, add links to important blog articles and lead generation offers to drive more traffic and leads for your business
- promote your Google+ page on your blog and website
- encourage people to share your posts e.g. ask your subscribers to share your content with the people in their circles
- analyze traffic and leads from Google+–look at referral traffic from plus.Google.com to your website
- use circles to segment your messages
Does your business have a Google+ business page? What lessons have you learned? Share your comments in the space below.