Utilizing Google + for your Business

January 28, 2013 | By

Utilizing Google + for your Business

You may have heard a little about Google+ for social networking. But, you weren’t really sure how you could use it and whether it’s worth the time and effort.  Basically, Google+ is similar to Facebook. You can share comments, links, and videos with your friends and customers. But, unlike Facebook, you also have the capability of setting up Social Circles so you can send different media to different segments of people.

There are two types of Google+ profiles.  The personal Google+ is strictly for individuals.  Google+ Business Pages are for companies.  To take advantage of social networking through Google+, you just need to set up a Google+ Business Page. (To note, Make sure you set up a Business Page and not a Personal Profile, as Google will remove your profile if its listed in the individual area.)
How to Make a Google Plus Business Page
Now that you’ve got your terminology straight, you can get started building your Google+ Business Page. It’s pretty straightforward, and you can be up-and-running in a matter of minutes. Make sure you tackle the following tasks.

  1. Pick a Category. As you set up your business page, you can choose a category for your business. Don’t skip this step because Google will help bring your business to people’s attention based on your category. Categories include Local Businesses (perfect for hotels, restaurants, stores, local services, etc.), Products or Brands (best for apparel cars, financial services, and electronics), Companies, Institutions or Organizations (think of non-profits, schools, and utilities companies), Arts, Entertainment or Sports (sports teams, theaters, musical groups, and festivals), and you can also choose the Other category if your business doesn’t seem to fit well with the others.
  2. Upload a Profile Photo. If you already have a website for your business, choose a profile photo that matches your website. You could use your business’s logo, a professional picture of yourself, or anything else that would help customers to quickly identify your business. Remember that you want your profile photo to reflect your business, so keep it as professional as possible.
  3. Add a Tagline. Does your business have a motto or tagline? Increase your brand awareness by including your tagline on your Google+ Business Page.
  4. Spread the Word. If you already have a personal Google+ profile, share your Google+ Business Page with your current circles of friends.

That’s how to make a Google Plus business page in a nutshell. But just making the page isn’t enough to do much good for your business. To benefit your business, you’ll have to use your Google+ business page regularly. Here’s how:

  • Manage Circles. This is a feature originally seen on Google+ personal profiles, but it’s also useful for business pages. You can create circles of your staff, your buyers, your customers, and more. Circles make it easy to send specialized messages to these different groups of people. You can even narrow down your customer list into different circles, sending special offers to your very best, most loyal customers.
  • Publish Posts. Your customers can get to know you better when you communicate with them. What should you publish? Answer questions about your products and services, announce special offers and sales, give seasonal tips associated with your business, and make announcements about your company and employees. Make how-to videos to help customers with problems, or ask questions to get answers you would normally save for focus groups (what’s your favorite pizza topping?). Try to publish posts as regularly as possible. To do so, set up a schedule. Will you post once a day? Twice a week? Make a schedule, and stick to it.
  • Launch Hangouts. Hangouts are a unique feature of Google+ business pages. They let you set up video conversations with customers and colleagues. This is a great feature to use for customer service as you can actually show your customers how to solve their problems. You can also collaborate with your co-workers, distributors, or vendors in an environment where you can all see each other. You can also use hangouts like podcasts. Let’s say you have an exciting announcement or an educational presentation you’d like to broadcast. You can use Hangouts to broadcast your video around the world.

As you can see, Google+ business pages have a lot to offer to your business. Once you figure out how to make a Google Plus Business Page, you can customize it to fit your needs.

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Tony is working on new client relationships and the expansion of present accounts.

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