Google Plus: Ghost Town or Goldmine?


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Comparing the popularity of Google+ to Facebook is like asking who would win a cage match between Michael Cera and Brock Lesnar. Seriously, all social networks look like fragile nerds who film themselves re-enacting star wars scenes in their parents basement when compared to Facebook. Yes, Google+ appears to be a ghost town comparatively speaking, but don't let that fool you. There is a lot more going on than what meets the eye. As of March 2014, Google Plus had over 540 million active monthly users. In March, Forbes magazine asked nearly 60,000 American adults about what social sites they used. Here’s the thing: 22% of the adults say they visited Google Plus each month. Ironically, that’s the same number who also told the magazine that they use Twitter. Not to mention the fact that they used Google+ more than they used LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Instagram. Marketing blog author, Allison Zeringue, puts it this way, “The truth is, whether the network is popular or not, Google loves it when you play in their sandbox.”

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Google Displays Your Company’s Identity And Generates Brand Engagement

A lot of companies have already flown the white flag on Google's platform. Don't give up! It’s easy to forget that Google+ is Google. These days, it’s about you showing up at Google. That's why were here to tell you that investing a decent amount of time in your business page on Google+ can work wonders for your business’ local search visibility. This is especially true for smaller businesses. As a business, you want people to be able to do the most simple Google search and actually find your products. A great place to start is by building followers. If someone is following you on Google+, the likelihood that they will be able to see your brand and products in their Google searches increases greatly.

Secondly, Google has definitely offered incentives for a business to jump on their platform. In exchange for joining and creating a business page, your company will get primetime placement on the right-hand side of search results, not to mention promotional posts and photos. This display is visually grabbing and is sure to capture a persons attention above other search results on the lefthand side. In the big picture, this platform can also be a helpful tool to increase the rank (domain authority) in which your business appears when a product or the business itself is searched for. Google Plus produces a lot more interaction with your brand than you think. Last year, Forbes magazine conducted a study that included 3 million users and nearly 2,500 brand posts across seven social networks. So what happened? Google Plus posts engagement were right up there with Facebook posts — and generated nearly twice as much engagement per follower as their Twitter posts.

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Nate Elliot, an analyst at Forrester, says, “It is literally promotion that money can’t buy, It is something that Google could make billions off of if they sell that space tomorrow, and they’re giving it away to try to get people onto the social platform.”

What You Need To Get Started

1. Go to gmail.com and create a Gmail account.
2. Google automatically signs you up for Google Plus.
3. Make a business page for your company.
4. Start posting and engaging.

Tips and Tricks That Have Generated Traction and Engagement

1. Utilize the visual: Use Gifs. You can even use them as profile images. Post Pictures, Info-graphics, and videos (Youtube videos can be directly posted into your feed).

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2. Join relevant Google Plus Communities and post in a community discussion or applicable pages.

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3. Grow your views and followers by cross promoting your page with other social platforms
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4. Use Google+ as a mini blog platform. We started posting short articles mentioning unique facts about certain days in history and mini articles on what was happening in our city. As a result our Google+ page views have grown around 55,000 views in the span of a little over 2 months and also more than doubled our followers. We are of course still learning and growing as well.

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5. Host a Google Hangout and Interview an expert in your field live.

Once you have your page up and running, you can find us here

We Want To Hear From You

Do you have tips to share? What do you think about Google+? How do you use it or plan to use it?

Sources:
Why Every Marketer Should Use Google Plus, Nate Elliot, Forrester Research
Entrepeneur.com
Image via the cinemasource.com and sterogum.com

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