Google+ User's Guide 4: G+ For Marketing
As we've stated before in our other article, Google+ has a host of benefits for marketers. Now let’s take a look at how to leverage your G+ Business page to promote your brand. There are a few factors to work on: link building, audience segmentation, content development, and reputation management. You must leverage your business page affectively to achieve maximum potential in each category.
One big advantage of G+ is the cross-integration with all of Google’s applications. For instance, you can share photos through Picasa Albums, share videos from Youtube, and locate your business on Google Maps. This integration has strong value for search engine optimization through link building. When you’re providing information about your business, be sure to use key words that will help the search engine find your page. What is the overall service or services that your company wants to offer? Once you have figured that out, really saturate your page with that message. Place your key words in highly visible locations, and direct fans to your website. You should also connect your G+ page to all of your other Social Media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. This way, when someone visits your G+ page, they’ll have the opportunity to be exposed to your entire social media repertoire.
Now that your links are established, people will start to find your page. You will start to see your connections grow with each “follow”. With an audience base to work with, you have to figure out who to reach, and how to get your message across most effectively. G+ takes the hassle out of this with their Circles function. Your business page begins with 4 default circles (following, customers, VIPs, and team members), but you can create as many more as you’d like. Be sure to create circles based on individual consumer characteristics. If you’re a sports equipment company, create circles for each sport that you sell (basketball fans, baseball fans, hockey fans, etc.). Allocate your connections to the appropriate section. Just as simple as that, you’ve segmented your audience. Now you can share your posts with the general public, multiple circles, or individual circles. You can even choose individual connections to reach. The targeted manner of message transmission will yield higher organic viewership, more potential for virality, and high quality audience interaction.
Now that you have drawn people to your page and organized them into segments, you need to keep them interested. The trick to garnering audience interaction is quality over quantity. Be sure to create content that is relevant to your brand. Find out what your audience is interested in, and build your content strategy around that. Once you have decided what to post, spruce it with some rich media. Rich media is visual content such as pictures, videos, or info graphics. The average consumer is more likely to be engaged by a piece of rich media than plain text. Rich media content is also more likely to illicit a re-share. Okay, now you have your message all ready to go. Consider your target audience now. Remember that you’ve already segmented your connections. Should you target a specific circle, or your connection base at large? How about trying to reach certain individuals? These components can all be controlled through your G+ sharing space. Simply create your message, and then customize the target audience through the drop down menu at the bottom of the share space. The final thing to figure out is the scheduling. When is the best time to share your content? For the first couple weeks, post your content at varying times of the day, and on different days of the week. After you’ve compiled some analytics, take a look at high traffic times. When are people most receptive to your posts? More importantly, when does your target audience interact with it most? Once you have mastered these 4 aspects of content sharing, you will start to see higher quality interaction from your audience at a higher frequency.
Here we reach the final factor in the equation. Maintaining your Brand’s reputation is nothing new. But maintaining your online reputation through social media is. The most important thing to remember is to “stay true to you”. Social Media represents an un-paralleled level of visibility. Everything you say, do, or post can be carefully monitored and recorded for the entire world to see. Figure out how you want to represent your brand. How do you want your audience to think of you? Are you going to run an aggressive “tough-love” media campaign? Or will you take a more friendly “family” approach? This is very important because once you develop your reputation; it is hard to change it, but so easy to ruin it. Once you have your image prepared, it’s time to introduce it to your audience. Create content that is concurrent with what your company stands for. Share your vision and mission statement with your audience, so that they know what to expect from you. Don’t deviate from this image or else you risk alienating your fans. Never EVER argue with your audience. This is critical. Everything you say can be seen and tracked by anyone. Even if someone posts something negative on your page, just respond as diplomatically as possible. One wrong step is all it takes to ruin months or even years of hard work. But it all comes back to staying true to you. As long as you move along in accordance with your vision, everything will fall in place. Follow these tips as a basic guideline for your business. Try your own strategies to find out what works best for you, then implement them to your overall business model. Thanks for sticking with us through our Google+ User’s Guide. Find The Social Firm on Google+ and we’ll be your first connection! Google+ User's Guide Pt. 1: Getting Started Google+ User's Guide Pt. 2: Getting Accustomed Google+ User's Guide Pt. 3: Navigating G+