Does Your Small Business Need a Google Plus Page?
Every time a new social media network hits the scene, small businesses sign up and do their best to leverage it as a new and innovative marketing platform. Google Plus has been around for a few years now, and it’s no exception. Businesses small and large have established presences there, and some have found it to be a useful way to connect with audiences.
Many marketing gurus will insist that every small business must join every social media network available. It’s essential, they’ll say, and that’s almost never true. Whether or not Google Plus (or any other social media network) is an appropriate marketing tool for your business depends on the nature of your business and the demographics of your customers.
Google Plus is particularly interesting. The number one reason cited for every business using Google Plus is that it has the potential to improve your site’s performance on Google’s powerhouse search engine. I don’t think we can know for sure whether a Google Plus presence boosts a business’s search page ranking, since Google’s algorithms are highly secretive, but I do think it’s likely. However, that doesn’t mean your small business absolutely must establish a presence there. If you cater to a small clientele and don’t require a lot of traffic to your website, or if you don’t want or need search engine traffic, then you probably don’t need a Google Plus presence.
But let’s dig deeper. What is Google Plus and how does it work?
Introduction to Google Plus
Google Plus is a cross between Facebook and Twitter. The display is similar to Facebook with a grid layout that will show images and videos in-stream. There’s also a space for conversation. It’s like Twitter in that conversations seem to coalesce around shared interests whereas Facebook connections are based on personal relationships (friends and family). However, Google Plus is not as mainstream as Facebook or Twitter.
As with any social media network, you start by setting up a personal profile, complete with a profile pic and bio. You can also include links to your websites. Then you start sharing content and building relationships. Like Twitter, Google Plus uses hashtags that make it easy to follow specific topics. Its unique feature is circles, a method of organizing the pages and people you follow into thematic groups. You can create a circles based on relationships (friends, family, co-workers) or on interests (business hobbies, etc.).
Google Plus has a huge membership; however, it’s not as widely used as Facebook or Twitter. If your social media resources are limited, this is a worthwhile consideration. Again, if you’re engaged in search engine optimization or if you’re trying to establish your business’s presence on Google Business, then a Google Plus page is essential. Otherwise, it depends on your particular circumstances.
Tips for Setting Up and Using Google Plus for Small Businesses
To get started on Google Plus, all you need is a Google account (Gmail). You’ll want to make sure you set it up as a business rather than a personal profile. Here a few tips for using Google Plus for business:
- On Google Plus, visuals are crucial and will attract a much better response than text posts. You can post text but text updates should be interspersed with videos and images that reflect your business for a better overall presentation.
- Be sure to include on your business website a link to your Google Plus page so you can grow your following. I recommend using a row of social media icons that link to your respective social media platforms.
- As mentioned, Google Plus may be a good way to strengthen your search engine optimization efforts. Be sure to include keywords from your SEO campaign in your Google Plus profile and in the updates you post.
- Fill it out: Incomplete profiles look amateurish and unprofessional. Make sure you include a custom profile image, header image, links, and a bio.
- Like incomplete profiles, abandoned social media profiles come across as unprofessional. Set up a schedule to make sure you update your Google Plus page regularly. If you drift away from it or find that it’s not beneficial for your business, make sure you remove any links or references to your Google Plus page.
Making the Call
Should you set up a Google Plus page for your small business? It certainly doesn’t hurt and in fact may help your website and business perform better.
If you’re not sure whether your business will benefit from a Google Plus page or if you need help establishing your small business’s presence on social media, Scribizzy can help.