While Google+ hasn’t exactly been embraced by the masses as a true “social network”, it offers a lot of opportunity for users and marketers alike. In the SMX East “Getting Ahead With Google+” session Google Product Marketing manager Kari Clark says she is frequently asked “What is Google+? Is it a social network? How should I be using this, is it like Facebook?”
She answers by saying that Google+ is a better way of using Google. The goal of Google+ is to make a more powerful and useful experience for both advertisers and users. Taking advantage of Google+ can enhance brand presence in both organic and paid search results as well as create a more relevant and engaging experience for internet users. The following are some strategies that Kari Clark, Kerry Dean, and Jed Paulson suggested for brands to get ahead across the web with Google+.
1) Post on Google+
Posting on Google+ can enable brand posts to show up in the “Recent Activity” portion of search results. This tactic can be especially useful for brands that compete with their resellers for top search result rankings.
2) Take advantage of hangouts
Hangouts are an opportunity to bridge the gap between people and brand, to spark “real conversation” as Kerry Dean puts it. Dean presented many creative examples for how brands can use hangouts, including hangouts with the CEO, product engineers, and customers with honest reviews. Kari Clark brought up an example of a zoo that conducted hangouts featuring zoologists and animals. The opportunities are endless!
The real opportunity here is the opportunity to create engaging, interesting video content. Brands can record their Google+ hangouts and post the videos on their Youtube channels. And voila, awesome content.
3) Make the Google+ badge prevalent on your website
Kari Clark stated that 38% of companies get their followers from the Google+ badge on their website. That is a compelling number!
4) Link Google+ page
Make sure your Google+ page is linked to your AdWords account and your website to enable personal recommendations to potentially show up alongside brand content. Plus One recommendations can even show up alongside Youtube videos.
5) Utilize authorship shortcodes
Using Google+ Authorship code enables the authors thumbnail and information from Google+ to show up in search results next to their article. This is another piece of visual content to draw searchers eyes to your site.
6) Be active!
This goes without saying, but simply be active! Post pictures, ask questions, use trending hastags, +mention other people/pages when possible. The best way to see what works for your user base is to dive in and see what works.
7) See what is working for others
Kerry Dean also reminded us of a great idea, when planning how to comunicate on Google+, don’t reinvent the wheel. Get out there and see what is working for other brands. Of course this isn’t to say that you should lose your own brand voice and copy other Google+ pages, but it is a great place to start for ideas.
How has Google+ allowed you to interact with customers in new and interesting ways? Comment below or let me know on Twitter @CaseyDavenport