When compared to the giants of Facebook and Twitter, Google+ can often pale in comparison. Businesses like to use their resources in the areas they feel will have the most traction. This strategy tends to lead to a focus on a small number of social networks. With over 200 million active users, though, Google+ is still a place to find and engage with customers. The site might not be central to a social media policy, but it can be a complementary option that has a number of benefits. The following benefits and tips might be enough to encourage some businesses to make more of the opportunities Google+ offers.
Benefits of Using Google+
While there are some common benefits to using all social media platforms, Google+ has various elements that will help business users.
Google Accounts are Linked
One email account can be used to access a host of Google services. You can then easily direct people from one platform to another. For example, your Google+ profile will show up within your Gmail account, so everyone receiving an email will be reminded to connect with you.
The majority of users are male, affluent, and based in the United States. Research has also found a large number of people working in the tech industry. These demographics will be a good match for various businesses, but you can still locate different audiences due to the large user base.
Search Engine Benefits
Google is the most popular search engine by a long way, so businesses are looking for ways to increase exposure for targeted searches. The search engine has been found to index Google+ content very quickly, while your content can sometimes appear for surprising search terms. You won’t get the benefit immediately, but a popular profile can reap the rewards.
Tips for Using Google+
Social media sites make it easy to post new content and updates. However, you need to be using various tips and techniques to maximise your output from the work you put in.
Use Images Effectively
Google+ profiles can often look bland and uninviting. The platform actually lets you create visually striking pages though, with large images helping to draw people in. It can be effective to design a post like an advertisement. In most ads, the image is one of the central elements that will draw people to click further.
Write an Engaging Headline
The headline is another factor that will draw people in. The headline is typically what will be displayed most prominently in the search results and on the Discover page within Google+. As with the image, craft a headline like an advertisement or blog post, using techniques like intrigue, shock, surprise, and emotion to increase traffic.
Interact with Communities
Communities are one of the best aspects of Google+, helping you find targeted audiences in your niche. Use appropriate search phrases to find communities, while also considering the recommended options. If you post good content to the community, you will naturally become recognised by members, potentially leading to an increased level of traffic and an expert status.
A collection is similar to a board on Pinterest. You group together appropriate content, making it easier to organise and find. Followers can then quickly find the type of content that interests them. One of the benefits and drawbacks of social media is the constant need for new content. By developing quality collections, though, you can showcase older posts for the people who missed them.
Build Targeted Circles
Circles are a way to combine followers into appropriate groups. You can add people to various circles, only showing content that would interest each group. Similar to email segmentation, circles let you target individuals far more effectively. Circles will be of particular benefit to businesses dealing in a broad industry with various sub-niches.
Google+ is a valuable addition to a social media strategy, helping to find an audience that may be more active than on other platforms. The total audience will be smaller than the most popular sites, but it is still possible to find a significant number of active users. The benefits of both communities and circles are also helpful in building relationships with your crowd. While it is easy to dismiss Google+ based on the large investment and perceived lack of success, the platform can still offer plenty to businesses willing to dedicate some time.