When Google+ launched at the end of June, Google asked brands and companies not to create profiles and pages on the much-hyped social media network. Not only were you unable to sign up using a work email account that was powered by Google, but those who rushed to open a business account were shown the red card and sent off the new social media playing field.
Christian Oestlien, product manager at Google, was quick to comfort the budding Google+ business adopters, promising that Google would enable business profiles later in the year.
But why would companies want to add Google+ to their digital marketing strategies?
For starters, it has enjoyed an astounding early rate of adoption. Since its inception on June 28, Google+ has amassed over 43 million users. In July technowizard Leon HĂĄland posted a graph, which illustrates the smashing growth rate of the new social network.
And since opening its gates public-wide last week, Google+ has experienced a 13-fold (!)Â jump in traffic, according to Mashable.
It took 780 days for Twitter to gain 10 million customers while Google Plus gained the same number of subscribers within 16 days. That really is scarily quick!
And letâ€™s not forget the potentially huge SEO advantages of Google+. As we found out when typing in the name of one of our marketers, a Google+ account comes at the top of Google search results. This should come as no surprise, especially given the fact that Google+ is the search engine giantâ€™s very own social network.
Logically, a Google+ business account is likely to be the first thing that comes up when people type in your company name or search for your services so having a presence on Google+ is critical from an SEO and brand-building perspective.
Here are a few tips to prepare you for Google+ for business:
- Make sure you add an optimised description to your avatar.
If people hover over your thumbnail, you only have a few lines of text to engage with them and tell them what youâ€™re about.
- Choose wisely who you post content to.
If your business covers lots of industries, then make sure you create circles for each one. Your IT clients wonâ€™t want to see your posts on sport or the leisure industry.
- Get creative with your avatar picture.
Clicking on your picture scrolls through all your previous profile pics.Â Graphic designer Phouthong Luong, for instance, has uploaded two pics so when you click on the avatar, it looks like his avatar is winking at you!
- Know where to find Google+.
You can find Google+ in three easy ways:
- Or,Â you can find your own profile at: http://plus.google.com/me
The only brands Google has allowed to keep their Google+ accounts so far are Ford and General Motors. Check out the Ford Google+ account to get an idea of how to set up Google+ for business. Whatâ€™s really handy is that you can import your contacts from Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. In fact, the set-up process is so simple you should be able to build up your circle numbers in no time.
So donâ€™t repeat the mistake of some companies who were slow to adopt Twitter and Facebook into their marketing campaigns. Given all the business benefits of social media, you should open the doors to Google+ before it has even opened its doors to you.
Are you planning to create a Google+ account for your business? How are you going to use it to market your products or services? Let us know in the comment box below.