Once upon a time, Google launched a platform with hopes it would be a huge social network. Google Plus? No. Believe it or not, their first venture into the social realm was not with Google Plus, but with Orkut, in 2004. No, I had never heard of it either, but it gained traction in Brazil and India. Down, but not out, Google tried again with Google Wave in 2009. It failed. They tried again in 2010 with Google Buzz. And failed. Many marketers and small business owners are asking, “Why is Google Plus different”? Maybe it’s because Google means “business” this time, which is good for small business.
No matter the reason, Google Plus has taken off, with more people perceiving it as a social network. Each month, data indicates significant increases in the number of new users, including businesses, who start using Google Plus. Small businesses should really be taking notice of the many benefits awaiting them on this platform.
Getting started on Google Plus may seem daunting, especially for a small business owner who has limited time and/or resources. The time has never been better though, and the steps to setting up a Google Plus account are rather easy. Chris Brogan proves to be an excellent resource for setting up a Google Plus account, if you haven’t already done so (Source).
Google Plus is good for businesses of all sizes; important to note – small businesses have the same opportunities for success on the platform as larger businesses. The following are among many reasons for why Google Plus is good for small business.
Google Plus plays an important role in SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
People often go online to research before making purchases. They want to quickly obtain information such as where to purchase what they need, as well as who can provide the best product/solution with the most value. The higher your small business’ organic search ranking, the more likely potential consumers will find you and your business. Share relevant content through your Google Plus account to increase your search ranking and make your business more visible to your target market. Does your small business have a physical address and do you want to draw in local customers? If so, then you should consider setting up a Places listing, along with your Google Plus account.
Google Plus Communities allow for relevant and meaningful conversation opportunities
Google Plus introduced Communities at the end of 2012. Google Plus Communities allow people and business pages to form groups based on interests, industries, etc. Community members now have forums in which they are able to ask questions and have conversations around relevant topics within their groups of like-minded people. Small businesses may use Google Plus Communities as a place to present themselves and their products/solutions to a receptive audience.
Google Plus Hangouts let people have face-to-face meetings anytime and anyplace
Although Hangouts do not replace in-person meetings, they are very convenient and easy. All a small business (or any user) needs for a Hangout are a Google Plus account, an Internet connection, a webcam and people who want to join their Hangout. The purposes for business Hangouts on Google Plus run the gamut – from staff meetings to sales presentations – and anything in between. The small business owner benefits from the convenience and relatively low costs associated with having meetings this way; in turn, potential and/or current clients experience the same benefits.
Has your small business discovered the positives of Google Plus? I’d love to hear why Google Plus is good for your business.
Jill Holman: http://jillholman.com/google-plus-small-businesses/
This article originally appeared on the ME Marketing Services blog.
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