What Is Google+ & How Can It Benefit My Business?
Google+ is a social networking site launched by Google in 2011. It has approximately 250 million users and is growing rapidly. Google+ is similar to Facebook but yet different in many ways. One major difference is that you can organize your friends and followers into separate “Circles” so you can post appropriate messages to the right people. You can create events which can appear in the Google+ calendar and also invite your friends by planning your hangouts.
Below, I will list the benefits to Google+ and how you can use it for your business:
1. Invite People to Your Circles –
Once you set up your account, you will see a suggestion list that is provided by Google of people to invite to your circles. It's a good idea to go through these suggestions and invite different people to the appropriate circle. I normally invite people that are experts in a certain field, for instance, social media, blogging, etc. Most people will accept your invitation which in return will help build an effective Google+ network.
2. Your Profile –
It's important to fill out your Google+ profile area. Establish your personal identity and connect your personal profile with your business. You can use a company logo for your avatar but it is recommended to use a picture of yourself. This can help establish you as an actual person, but also give you the ability to build relationships for your online business. Implement the benefits of your business in the “About” section. You want to highlight your business but also keep your personal identity obvious.
3. Categorize Google+ with Circles –
An advantage of using Google Plus is their “Circles” feature. This feature allows you to send appropriate messages to the appropriate groups of people hence "Circles". You can separate your followers into customers, family, social media, bloggers, business associates, etc.
4. Invite People to Your Circles –
Google+ will provide you with a suggestion list. You can choose who you want to invite to your circle by categorizing them to the appropriate circle group. Before you know it, you will be building an effective network.
5. Google+ Hangouts –
Google+ Hangouts is one unique feature that is different from Facebook and other social media networking sites. The Hangouts feature lets you connect by video with up to ten people at a time. This is a great marketing tool for webinars, demonstrations, training, meetings and more. Use this beneficial tool with creativity to grow your own business.
6. Google+ drag and drop option –
Google+ allows you to easily drag and drop memorable videos, links and photos from your desktop to your Google+ comment box. This gives you the flexibility and creativity to create your unique posts.
7. Google+ Notifications Window –
Have you ever wanted to comment without going back and losing your place? Google+ has a great notification feature that allows you to comment right in the window without having to click over to a website to share a comment; which is a great time-saver.
8. Make Your URL Short –
You can shorten your URL as you probably won’t want to use the default link Google assigns to you. Visit gplus.to and choose the nickname for your URL. You can use your business name or your actual name.
9. Sparks –
Google+ has another great feature called "Sparks." This great tool lets you enter specific keyword(s) and an alert will be sent to you whenever any content on that specific keyword subject is posted. This is a great way to search for and find relevant and interesting content to share with your circle of friends and/or business contacts.
10. Add Mashable to Your Browser Bookmark Favorites –
Mashable is an awesome news resource that will keep you abreast of all Google+ features, updates, and digital social media news. By bookmarking and using Mashable as your source, it will allow you to make the most of your Google+ and social media platform skills.
Are you using Google+ to benefit your business? How has it helped? Please share your comments below.
About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, and biz owner at Once Upon A Star. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter below.
Photo Credit: JSCreationzs