Whether you like it or not, Google is the big daddy of the Internet and getting in his good grace won’t do any harm to you or your business. And the introduction of Google+ gives entrepreneurs a great way to do that.
Before I talk about how Google+ can help entrepreneurs I like to mention a very interesting thing I heard when I attended a Google business group meeting. The speaker said not to think of Google+ as a social network, instead think of it as the platform that binds all Google services together. And that is exactly what Google is doing with Google+. With that in mind let’s explore how it can help entrepreneurs.
Google+ Business Pages
A business page is a great way to promote your product or service in Google+ and it provides plenty of benefits in search results as well. Because Google+ still doesn’t have the user numbers like Facebook you have a better chance of engaging with an interested audience. Although Facebook wasn’t the first company to introduce social media, it was the first to grow to such huge numbers. People who joined Facebook do regret some mistakes and have switched to Google+ to make a fresh start and to be seeing by an audience like that can do wonders to your business.
And some awesome functionality like hangouts help businesses interact with their customers in some unique ways. Although the number of participants for a hangout is bit restricted it is the perfect way to create demand for your hangouts. Check out some unique hangouts hosted by some brands. If hangouts like that don’t build brand loyalty nothing will.
It’s great for building awareness and attracting new customers as well. Google+ has all the standard featured of a social network so anything you share has the potential to go viral. But with its integration with search you have the chance to appear more prominently in search results and make your brand look like a trusted brand.
Below image shows what appears in the sidebar when you do a search for a brand like Creately. You need to be logged in to see the follow button. But having the images displayed in the sidebar with the latest updates already makes them look credible for potential customers.
Brands with Google+ pages can have brand page snippets appearing in search results
Personal Branding and Authority
Google+ profiles feature prominently for name searches. In my case it’s the second just below my LinkedIn profile. But Google+ profiles have one advantage over LinkedIn and Facebook. Instead of showing information about the service or asking to join the service Google+ mentions who you are and what you do. Another reason to have a well optimized Google+ personal profile.
With the introduction of authorship Google took a big step to fight spam appearing in search results. And your Google+ personal profile is directly connected to verifying authorship. The process is not difficult and this guide has a detailed explanation on how to set up Google authorship. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress there are plugins that automate most things for you. Once you get your profile verified it will start appearing in search results next to your published articles. And this will surely increase click through rates to your websites.
Integration with All Other Google Services
As mentioned above Google+ is more than a social network. It is integrated with all the Google service and can serve as an amazing tool to create brand awareness, build your personal brand etc. Even Gmail shows your profile when some opens your mail if the email address is connected to your Google+ profile. It would be foolish not to take advantages of these opportunities to increase awareness.
As with any social network what you get from the service depend on how actively you use the service. Just creating a profile and doing nothing won’t do you much good. But if you put some work into it Google+ can definitely be a tremendous tool for entrepreneurs. Have you used it?