www.TerryPower.com http://goo.gl/imivu (add my page to your circles)Launched in June 2011, Google+ is a new social network thathas attracted the attention of marketers. In just a few months,the platform amassed more than 40 million users, nearly one-third of LinkedIn’s 135 million membership base. Despite thisimpressive growth, the adoption of Google+ doesn’t yet compareto that of Facebook, which has more than 800 million users.Ever since its launch, Google+ has been open to individuals toshare stories with their Circles, get involved in discussions, postphotos, and participate in video conference calls (calledHangouts).However, the social network didn’t provide businesses withmuch value, and many marketers were left wondering how totruly benefit from Google+.In early November, Google+ finally rolled out business pages.Now the platform not only enables companies to create pages,but also encourages businesses to grow their following. “I expectbrands will notice this and will build marketing plans around it,”said Bradley Horowitz, vice president for products at Google+ inan article for The New York Times. His statement definitelyreinforces the potential of the social network for marketingpurposes.
On the day Google announced the release of Google+ businesspages, hundreds of media outlets covered the story and drewattention to its importance. While many reporters and bloggersviewed it as a great improvement to Google+’s feature set, somedecided to take a more controversial angle, viewing the storythrough the lens of a Facebook rivalry.PCWorld, for example, led off with a story about how, in MarkZuckerberg’s words, Google “is trying to build their own littleversion of Facebook.” It has long been discussed that Googleseeks to penetrate the social market, which it previouslyattempted to do with Google Buzz (which has now been shutdown). Will Google+ be the key weapon the search engine giantneeds to achieve its goal? Can this new network, with itsimproved feature set, beat Facebook? These are all questionswe don’t quite have the answers for yet. But one thing isclear--marketers are provided with a completely new platform toexplore and leverage.In this guide, we will help you make sense of this newenvironment. We’ll give you step-by step instructions for how toset up and optimize your Google+ business page as well as thebest practices to use in order to generate more buzz around yourcompany. Lastly, we will touch upon different aspects of Google+that will impact your search engine optimization and bloggingefforts. Welcome, and we hope you enjoy the read!
Google+Google+ is a social network powered by the search engine giantGoogle. Many see this platform as a challenge to Facebook’sdomination of the social media space. With more than 40million users and a growing influence on search, Google+ hasdefinitely emerged as a key player in the online marketingecosystem. Google+ allows businesses to create pages anddevelop relationships with prospects and customers on multiplelevels. Individuals can add a brand to a specific Google+ Circle,share a Google+ page with their network, and interact with thecontent posted by that company. For instance, users can +1 (orin other words, endorse) the updates a company publishes, leavecomments, upload photos, and tag the brand in them. Aninteresting aspect of this platform is that its Hangouts featureenables companies to engage with fans, prospects, andcustomers through video conference calls.Video chat is definitely the element that distinguishes Google+from other existing social networks. “We want to help you makethe same kinds of lasting connections with your customersonline the way you can in real life,” wrote Dennis Troper, ProductManagement Director, Google+ Pages.Video communication is one way to make this happen. Lets get started on your business page !.....
While Google indicated that Google+ Pages wouldn’t beimmediately accessible to all, they’re actually becoming readilyavailable. In fact, I’ve already created my Google+ Page, so youcan follow any updates and add it to one of your Circles byclicking here! You are probably also eager to create a Google+Page for your own business. The process isn’t difficult, and inthis section, we will walk you through it step by step. Step 1 Which Gmail account should you use ?If we learned anything from creating our own page, it’s thatGoogle+ Pages’ administrative capabilities could useimprovement. Avoid creating your business page through justany old account, such as a personal gmail account. Instead,choose a gmail account that is accessible to multiple membersof your company(e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), and use thataccount to create your page.Because Google+ Pages’ administrative capabilities currentlyaren’t as sophisticated as say, Facebook’s (which enable you toassign multiple page admins regardless of the page’s origins),you’ll want to choose a host account that makes your page asaccessible to multiple contributors as possible.The ‘Google+ Your Business’ Google+ Page has indicated thatGoogle has already started working on multi-admin support andownership transfer. For now, we recommend making youraccount as accessible to other team members as possible.
Step 2 While signed into the Google account youve decided to use,visit http://plus.google.com/pages/create, and if you see theoption to create a Google+ Page, get started! Follow the wizard(it’s much like Facebook’s Page creation wizard), and choose themost appropriate option to classify your business.You’ll be able to select from the following options:Local Business or PlaceProduct or BrandCompany, Institution or OrganizationArts, Entertainment or SportsOther After selecting your classification, fill in your basic information,including your page name (i.e. your company name, or specifickeywords), your business’ website URL, your category, and theclassification of your page’s content (i.e. any Google+ user, 18years of age or older, etc.).
Step 3 The third step involves customizing your public profile. Theprofile basics include your tagline (think of it as your business’elevator pitch) and an image (your company logo is a greatoption, make certain contact info is displayed). Keep it concise,yet descriptive.In the photos section uploaded pics that have been renamed tokeywords for SEO purposes. Likewise with any videos youupload.In the About section you also have the opportunity to add“recommended links”. This is a powerful opportunity to havelinks to your other only properties from a Google page. Theselinks should each be named with keywords. Not “Our Website”,but “Greensboro Personal Chef” or whatever your keywords are.You can add links to your Facebook page, your websites, anyYouTube videos, etc.... Step 4 At this point, you’ve created the skeleton of your page, andGoogle+ will now prompt you to promote your page. Ourrecommendation is to customize your page even further andstart sharing a few updates before you begin telling the worldabout it. Under posts, post some photos, articles, general infoand a “welcome” greeting for those you will be inviting to yournew page. No one wants to be invited to a page that is blank.You can import an address list into the Gmail account attachedto the page then invite those people to your new page. Likewiseyoull promote it on your website, your Twitter account, Facebookand LinkedIn.
At the most basic level, this is really all you need to do to getyour page launched. But as any smart marketer knows, the‘basics’ aren’t usually enough. Intelligent marketers understandthe importance of optimizing their page to make it not onlymore engaging, but also more valuable and effective for leadgeneration. In this step, follow Google+’s prompts to create aneffective page, and remember -- Google+ is a social network.Although every social network has its specific nuances andbehaviors, many of the same best practices will still apply.Regularly share fresh content, react and respond to your fans,be engaging, and optimize for lead generation. Then measure,adapt your strategy, and optimize your presence based on yourown individual results and goals.While we covered the basics of a Google+ page, there is onemore element that needs to be discussed. With the launch ofGoogle+ Business Pages, Google also rolled out an interestingnew integration between Google+ and Google search. The nameof this integration is Direct Connect, and in the next section,we will discuss what it does and how to set it up.
Setting up Direct ConnectUsers who want to find a company’s Google+ page can nowsimply add a “+” in front of the company name in Google.comsearch to go directly to a company’s Google+ Page and skip overthe traditional search engine results page. In order to enable thisawesome new “+” search operator to work for your business, youfirst need to install the Google+ Direct Connect code on yourbusiness’ website to help verify that your Google+ page is the“official” page for your business.To do this, go to your Google+ page, and click the “Get Started”section under your profile photo, then the “connect your website”link under there. Once you have done this, you will be taken to ascreen that gives you options for six different Google+ buttons.One of your options is also to display no button and just installthe Google+ Direct Connect code on your website. That said,don’t you want people to connect with you on Google+? Sogo ahead and use one of the buttons to turn website visitors intoGoogle+ Page subscribers ! (note that you can “customize” this icon with your info.)
Once you add the code to your website, you will be eligible to beincluded in Google Direct Connect. But keep in mind that thisdoesn’t happen automatically. Google has stated it will be usingan algorithm to determine which companies get included. Makesure you are promoting your Google+ Page on your website,blog,and other properties off of Google+ in an effort to help influencethe Direct Connect algorithm and get your business listed. Marketing with Google+Google+ is similar to other social networks when it comes tomarketing, but it does have its own strengths and weaknesses.To get the most from your Google+ Business Page in terms ortraffic and leads for your business, follow these best practices:Add plenty of photos or videoswe are a visual societyUse the Recommended Links sectionsthese can bring you more traffic !Promote your new Google+ page on your other propertiescross indexing helps branding and spreads your messagesAsk people to share your contentSimilar to asking for “likes” or “retweets”, Youve got to ask.
Having read this ebook, you are now aware of the many aspectsin which Google+ will impact marketers. The truth is, there willundoubtedly be a lot more features coming to the socialnetwork. Dennis Troper (Product Management Director, Google+Pages) shared that Google has received some great feedback onGoogle+ Pages already and will be working on providing evenmore features soon.So what is coming to Google+ Pages next?“A few of your top requests [are ones that] we’ve already startedworking on, such as multi-admin support, ownership transfer,and page analytics,” wrote Troper. These are definitely popularfeatures that are indispensable from a marketing perspective.What is more, Facebook already offers the ability to addmultiple admins and to gain insights around sharing.No doubt, Google will keep investing effort into improving boththe functionality and usability of its social platform. It has to if itwants to compete with Facebook’s dominance in that space.While many might be underestimating the potential of Google+due to its low membership base compared to Facebook, it isworth recognizing its youth as well as its strong tie to search. Aswe already mentioned in this ebook, Google+ is not just anynetwork. It is a platform that is directly impacting search resultsand reshaping our experience of doing research in Google. Be asmart marketer, and keep a close eye on this emergingenvironment. http://goo.gl/imivu