I have mixed feelings about Google Plus. On one hand, it is the first example of Google actually managing to score a lasting hit with a social networking site. Their failures are all pretty embarrassing, and their ability to live up to some of the hype after the launch. According to the company reports, the platform is positively thriving and has a huge member list.
On the other hand, I am pretty sure their claims are bull. Many studies have been conducted, and the consensus of those studies is that G+ is a ghost town. A lot of profiles exist because any time you are signed up with a Google account – like the Gmail account we pretty much all own – you automatically have a profile created for you. Most accounts have allegedly only been used once then abandoned, and many others never even touched.
So how does Google Plus manage to get any street cred among its fellow platforms that truly are growing? Besides the associated name that pretty much owns the indexed internet, it is the business pages. Yes, they did manage to get one thing right, and that is the feature list and design for official business accounts on the site.
How Do Google Plus Business Pages Work?
You start by going to the Create A Business Page section and selecting what kind of page you want. There is a feature for Local Businesses and Places, Products or Brands, Companies, Institutions or Organizations, Arts, Entertainment or Sports and Other. Each selection has sub categories that you can use to further narrow your results.
Next, you can add in the details of your business. This includes the name, a link to your site (not required), and the age group your content is appropriate for. All of this information, plus the initial sign up into, pages your main page.
From there you can customize it with a background image, business details, a profile picture or logo and by creating circles and connecting to other businesses. Once all of this is done make sure you visit the Google Local page and add in more information to enrich your Google Search results.
Engaging With Customers
The point of Circles is being able to engage with specific groups customized by you. But there aren’t a lot of people who use Google Plus at this point, and that presents a problem when it comes to direct communication between you and potential consumers.
Instead of giving you tips on how to use G+, we will skip that because the context of the site as a marketing source has changed whether it wanted to or not. It is more a landing page, a place to further promote your business through search results and Google Local. So pump it full of as much information as you can, and keep it updated. Then use it to link up other Google services and enhance your present online.
As for conducting social media marketing, I would suggest using Facebook and Twitter for the task. It may sound cynical, but until Google can prove all those profiles are used on a regular basis it is better to use G+ as what its good for…another search boost.