This month Google+ passes the 100 million user mark and is predicted by analyst Paul Allen – Google+’s unofficial statistician – to exceed 400 million users by then end of this year. That’s a lot of people. I think it’s safe to say that Google isn’t messing around with their social platform.
So, you’ve set up your Google+ Your Business page but maybe your still aren’t totally sold on it and are on the fence whether or not it is worth allocating resources towards? Or, perhaps you understand the power of having a Google+ Your Business page but need some strong, convincing talking points to convince superiors that it’s worth pursuing further. Well I’m going to give you a hand. Last Wednesday, I came across a post by Jennifer Schiff of CIO Magazine who outlines several awesome ways how Google+ can help your business.
1. Improve your search engine ranking – Maybe a little obvious, but worth restating. When you create a Google+ Your business page, Google will rank it near the top of the search engine results page. Don’t believe me? Try Google-ing several companies and see for yourself. This can’t be overlooked because in today’s business environment “Clients and potential clients will often search a company name before inquiring further, so this has helped us spread our digital voice much more efficiently” says Maciej Fita, SEO Director, Brandignity, LLC, an SEO and social media marketing company.
2. Collaboration Aid – “Google+ is a must for CIOs trying to encourage collaboration…in a flat world, social tools like Google+ support fast and easy domestic cross-border sharing, enabling productivity at a fraction of the price of conventional meetings” says David Politis, founder of BetterCloud – A Google Apps third-party product provider.
3. Video chat – One of the most talked about features of Google+ is Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts is Google’s video chat feature allowing you to chat with up to ten different people at once. This is a great tool for geographically dispersed teams. “‘I manage employees and freelancers in North America, Asia and Europe’ explains Casey Armstrong, partner and COO, webbROI an online marketing business ‘Through Google+ Hangouts, we are able to collaborate in real-time through screen sharing, on Google Docs and via video chat. In addition, even if I’m on the move, I can video chat through my iPhone on Google+. Talent is everywhere and Google+ removes the location barrier.”
4. Hyper specific targeting at your fingertips – With Google+’s circles feature companies can quickly and easily separate their various customers into different groups (circles) and send targeted messages to each segment. For example, you can easily create customized offers for each circle while not having to worry about sorting through email lists wasting time ensuring that the correct message will be delivered to the appropriate audience.
5. Free focus groups – Why pay for them, when you can use Google+ to get answers to questions or elicit customer feedback. SEER Interactive did just this. They used their Google+ page to host an hour long Q&A session covering SEO and PPC topics. “‘The result was a lively conversation on Google+ with more than 100 comments over the course of an hour,’ says Will Reynolds, founder, SEER Interactive.”
6. A Powerful PR Tool – With Google+ circles companies can target their public media and relations, allowing them to deliver a very precise and targeted message to that specific audience. “‘If we deliver a message [using Google+], we know that it is going to be picked up by users who are more likely to respond, including key industry personalities and publishers,’ states Mike Essex, online marketing manager at Koozai, a U.K. digital marketing agency. Because Google+ allows users to tailor their message to a specific circle, it’s not hard to see why Google+ can be a more effective PR tool than Twitter.
7. Helps with Brand Awareness – Google+ gives companies another unique opportunity to build their reputation in a more casual manner. Like Facebook, Google+ allows companies to assert their personality and actively engage their user-base.