As you continue socializing your blog, you may find yourself looking for other social media outlets beyond Facebook and Twitter. One option is Google+. It has some unique features that could make it just right for your business.
Google+ is most useful if
- Your target market is highly technical, or
- You get most of your customers locally.
This apparent disconnect comes from the history of Google+ and its features. Google is usually an innovator, producing new products you didn’t even know you needed, but it was late to the social media party. Google+ launched publicly in August 2011 (as opposed to Facebook in 2004).
A vast majority of its early adopters were in technology fields like computer programming. Casual users have been slower to make the shift from Facebook. This means that if your target audience works and plays on its computers, Google+ may be a good avenue for you. But if your ideal client is interested in finding new recipes or inspirational posts, there may be better ways to spend your social media time.
So what about local customers? Google has strategically integrated Google+ into its host of other features – most importantly Google Maps. Any time someone searches Google for anything (like “lawyers”), Google generates a map of local results. Under each local entry there is a link directly to that company’s Google+ Page. So if most of your customers a looking for someone close by, having a robust Google+ presence can give potential clients first page access to your unique brand and message.
The basic functions of Google+ are substantially the same as Facebook. You can add posts, upload pictures and videos, and ask people to follow you (called “+1”). But Google+ gives you two added benefits.
- Circles: You can choose to publish posts to different subsets of people like “Clients,” “Business Contacts” or “Close Friends”. This gives you more control over who sees your message.
- Testimonials: Google has made it easy for users to add reviews of businesses on their map feature. You can encourage clients to write glowing testimonials that will appear on your Google+ page and on Google Maps.
The functions and features of Google+, especially its integration with the Google search engine, make it a good candidate for expanding your social media presence. Its active users may not compete with Facebook, but the easy access from Google’s main search brings your content marketing to potential clients quickly and easily.