How to use Google Plus as part of your Marketing Strategy
December 2, 2013 | By Nikki Fotheringham
If you aren’t currently using Google Plus as part of your online marketing strategy, there are 359 million good reasons to do so. The more than three hundred million users currently signed up to Google Plus are actually starting to use it, so it’s no longer only populated by marketing managers who are trying to muster a little extra SEO juice for their blog posts. Google Plus has become a forum which offers valuable online cache that’s well worth the time and effort. Here’s an example of a B2B business on Google+
Of course Google is attempting to elbow its way into the social platform with the view that Google Plus will take the place of Facebook which is currently losing ground thanks to its unpopular privacy, ownership and information sharing policies. It’s not a bad idea either; with the Google suite growing through Hangout and Google Docs, Google may well become your one-stop online shop.
Find your Target Audience
Ok, so if you are anything like me, you get a little click-happy and just add everyone to your circles with wild abandon (yes, I have Brad Pitt down as ‘family’.) A better way to go about it would be through the very handy search function which enables you to find your target audience. For example, if you are selling organic fair trade coffee, you could search for ‘baristas’, ‘coffee fiends’ or ‘coffee shops’ to find people who would be interested in your coffee products.
Do the Research
Each new social media platform has its own culture and Google Plus is no exception. Vines, memes and videos are popular as are extremely striking photos. If this accent on the visual is not what you are accustomed to doing (and even if it is!) you should do your research before deciding on what to post. Take a look at what all your new friends and acquaintances are posting and the kinds of posts that are shared most often.
Content is King
As with everything you do, the success of your Google Plus campaigns will be commensurate with the quality of your posts. Nothing beats quality, authenticity and sincerity. Part of providing great quality means posting about things that your clients want to see, and not just about your products and services. You should aim for a 20-80 split with only 20% of your posts dedicated to direct marketing. Be creative, be different to stand out from the crowd and (most importantly) have fun.
Mix it up
Take care to present information in a variety of formats so that you can be assured of appealing to everyone. From infographics to ‘how to’ videos, take a multimedia approach to your Google+ content. The same goes for posting; you can divide your audience up into circles so that you are posting only the most relevant information to each group. You can also ask Google to send an email to your circles when you post so that you can be sure that your post doesn’t get overlooked.
Sharing is caring
Participating in or creating networks and communities makes it easier to see what your target audience is looking for while connecting you to people in your sphere. Host hangouts so that you can share information with potential clients and connect with your audience in a meaningful way.
Here are a few links to really handy resources on how to best optimize your approach to Google Plus.
Download FREE book
What the Plus! by Guy Kawasaki