Getting the most out of Google Plus
As social networks multiply, it can be hard to keep track, and even harder to know where to build a presence. But, with more than a quarter billion users, it would be a bad move to ignore Google+. Google has a long way to go to catch Facebook’s nearly one-billion active users, but the network still has an engaged audience of more than 110 million for your business to reach, and according to a CNET report, it’s growing fast.
If that’s not reason enough, there’s one big factor making a Google+ presence essential for any business: Google Search. With the launch of “Search Plus Your World”, your Google+ activity can directly influence users’ Google Search results.
As Google explained it, “You should also be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you.”
Any time somebody logged into a Google+ account searches on Google, personalized results from their “Circles” show up in the results. That’s why you want your business to be in their Circles, and ultimately in their search results.
How to engage
Google Plus makes it easy to engage with the right users. Instead of blasting out to a random Twitter following, or whoever happens to “Like” your Facebook page, Google allows you to easily seek out users who might turn into customers.
The secret is, not surprisingly, search. Type in a keyword related to your business in the search box on Google+. Then, select “People or Pages.” It will show you people who list that topic in their profile. Add people who could be customers to a “Circle” for each topic you can come up with.
You can even hone in by geography. When you search for a keyword, Google has a “from this location” box. Entering Austin, TX, for instance, will allow you to see all posts from Austin about your topic of choice. Social Media Examiner has put together examples of this, along with other techniques for engagement on Google+.
Know your demographic
So you’ve started your Google Plus page, circled a lot of great potential customers, and some of them are even starting to circle you back. Next up, figuring out what to post.
Much like Pinterest, Google+ has a fairly specific demographic. However, unlike Pinterest, Google+’s user base is largely male. According to DataDial 60% of US Google+ users are male and nearly half of them are 18-24 years old. (see the infographic at the end of this article)
It goes without saying that you should tailor your Google+ content to this crowd. Post photos and links that would appeal to a young, tech-savvy mostly male crowd. And keep in mind that anything you post very well might show up in their Google searches.
“Hang Out” with Customers : free Video Conferencing
One unique feature of Google+ is “Hangouts.” It’s a new way to connect with potential customers with video conferencing, and all you need is a microphone and webcam.
You can hang out with up to 9 people at a time, sharing the video floor, so to speak. You can use it to solicit ideas and feedback and even share in watching YouTube videos or slideshows, say, for instance you have a new product you want to show off.
A newer feature of is Hangouts on Air, which while still a conversation, allows you to be more of a broadcaster. The big perk is an unlimited audience can watch your hangout, either on Google+ or your YouTube page. You just have to check “Enable Hangouts On Air.” And, as an added bonus, Google will automatically post a recording of the Hangout to your YouTube page.
Google+ is another great way to reach an audience online, and boost your share of your searches. Plus, it allows you to engage them in unique ways, like Hangouts. Give it another look and see how it can be a part of your company’s social strategy.