If you’re a small business and are at all aware of the social media world, you’ve probably heard of Google Plus. The latest big-name newcomer to social media, Google’s social network is growing quickly. Since its traffic is not yet even close to Facebook’s, many small business owners are asking the question: “Do I really need to be on Google Plus?”
Yes, yes you do. And here’s why.
It really doesn’t matter if none of your friends or potential customers are on Google Plus. The fact is, Google is on Google Plus.
When you stop to think about it, what’s the whole point of being on social media, being found on social media, having an email newsletter, or even having a website? You want to make it easy to find your company online.
And while Google Plus is low compared to the older Facebook, the data from Google Plus factors into the search results for Google itself.
Did you catch that? Your company’s presence on Google Plus direct affects where you show up in search engine results. So you need to take a couple hours and set up a Google Plus account for yourself, and a page for your business.
If you use already have a Google account you use for other Google services, you should use that same account. In fact, a Gmail or Google Apps account will let you import whatever contacts you’d like out of your inbox. That means anyone you’ve exchanged emails with is a potential Google Plus contact.
If you’re looking for a mutual friendship type relationship like Facebook has, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Relationships in Google Plus are probably closer to Twitter, if anything. Basically, you can add contacts and place them in circles. One person can be in multiple circles. Think groups, if the word “circles” weirds you out.
Once you have those circles set up, you can share content with people in the specific circles you indicate. Or you can share updates with anyone who happens to look at them.
While those circles are important for you to have personally, it’s important that you set them up for your business as well. I suggest also having a catch-all circle for people who add you or your business to their circle, but you don’t really know where to place them.
The bad news is that as of this writing, no third-party apps let you update your Google Plus stream, which is similar to your Facebook status. So if you’re used to using HootSuite or TweetDeck to update all your social media accounts, you’re out of luck for now.
The good news is that HootSuite is one of a handful of beta testers for Google Plus, and will hopefully be rolling the feature out to all it’s members soon.
Feel free to connect with me (Tim Priebe) on Google Plus, or connect with T&S Web Design on Google Plus. And if you need help setting up your business’s Google Plus page, you can contact us and we will help you out!