This is part 2 of a 3 part blog series by Nick Bilava as a follow up to his presentation at the Texas Self Storage Association annual tradeshow yesterday in San Antonio. Yesterday Nick explained some of the background and basic information about Google’s venture into social media. Today he shares some of the unique features of this site and explains your business can use them.
Google+ Features and How You Can Use Them
Google+ Pages gives businesses a fantastic opportunity to interact with customers and share information with them like never before. Google+ Pages allows for its users to have almost complete control over their page because look and feel can be customized, and the way information is shared can be targeted and developed for specific markets.
All Google+ users and Google+Pages accounts begin with creating a profile. A Google+ profile consists of a profile photo, a cover photo, and personal/business information. After the basics, the regular accounts and pages accounts start to differ.
When you decide to make a Google+ Page, you are given five choices to decide the type of page you are creating. These choices include: Product or Brand, Company/Institution/Organization, Local Business/Place, Arts/Entertainment/Sports and Other. Google+ Pages are similar to profiles but not identical. Pages have more limitations and are more geared towards brand promotion (obviously).
Personalization of your page and sharing of information on it helps to promote your business because people are getting exposure to your company, are learning the personality of your
business, and are absorbing whatever promotions you are sharing. To properly promote your business and to express your business’s personality, you need to take care when developing your page. The look and feel of your page largely revolves around the images you choose. Your profile photo should be attention getting and representative of your company. The cover photo should be something that compliments your profile picture and again is a visual representation of your company.
Direct Connect is another way Google+ allows a business to promote their page. This tool makes it possible for others to find your page through a Google Search. Through algorithmic rhythms Google decides your page’s popularity and relevance to certain searches. The search engine optimization (SEO) value alone is enough to make many companies create a Google+ Page without needing to put much effort into maintaining the page.
Google + Circles makes it possible for users to organize their friends into specific groups. By default, you are given several circles, but you can create and delete circles as
you choose. Businesses can use circles to help them share specific information with specific audiences. This is great because you can generate circles with just your employees, your VIP customers, different demographics of your customers, or any label in which you would like to organize your connections.
Having Google+ Circles is beneficial for businesses because this allows them to customize their messages and only share information with certain people. A memo about Casual Friday can go out to employees and your customers will never see it! You can send out a “thank you” message to just new customers or you can share something with the public. It is easy to target certain people with messages using Google+ Pages.
Google+ Hangout allows up to 10 people to interact via video chat. Even though only 10 can interact at a time, Google has launched this broadcasting feature so many people can watch the action. With a Live Broadcast, you can record a Hangout session from your computer and the second it is done the recording is automatically uploaded to your YouTube account for people to come to and view at their leisure. There are many tools and apps that can be used throughout the entire Hangout. For example, the “Screenshare” feature you allows everyone in your Hangout to view your screen.
Many companies and celebrities are taking advantage of this outstanding feature. The Muppets and Entourages’ Adrian Grenier are just two examples of many successfully hosted Google+ Hangout sessions. Hangouts are providing people with an amazing opportunity to engage with customers and fans in an innovative way. I’ll share detailed examples later in the blog on how people are successfully using this feature to boost their business.
Google+ has made the Internet much more personal. When users search on Google while signed into their Google+ accounts, they receive results based on three criteria: Google+ posts relating to what you and others have shared, certain Google+ users suggestions, and trending information from the web.
This is incredibly beneficial for businesses; it is taking the classic word-of-mouth marketing and making it digital. Whether customers are looking for a restaurant or checking out new videos on YouTube, they can see reviews from people in their circles. This allows for consumers to trust their search more and know what their friends have enjoyed. If your business happens to be something that a person liked, your business can be seen in conjunction with a personal recommendation from that person’s friend or family member. Having an active Google+ Page is important for being included in search results because it has a personal stamp of approval on it.