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How To Market Your Business On Google+

Social networking sites and micro bloggers influence our society in a strong fashion. Our civilization has a new home- the internet. We are the denizens of Facebook, Orkut, Twitter, Blogger and now, Google Plus. Yes. These are now the prime means of communication, with more than three quarters of the world seeing social networking as a means even bigger than phones!

Communication leads to exchange of ideas and opinions. The more we talk; newer trends emerge in larger numbers. Owing to its wide spread reach, social media has been recognized as an efficient and smartly targeted marketing tool. Most of the times, the companies don’t even need to initiate campaigns to promote their products. The users’ Walls, Tweets, Streams, Scrapbooks do a major chunk of work! This is a blessing for marketers because third party advertising is the best of its kind because there is little left to doubt when it’s a trusted friend promoting or approving of a product or service.   
How To Market Your Business On Google Plus
Social media has been in use for marketing purposes since time immemorial. Google plus marketing is a brand new concept all set to invade the Social media market with a boom. The brand value attached to G+ makes it very special. The people are going to talk and any place where there is chatter; there is also a potential marketing hub. 

As expected, Google Plus has taken the world by storm and its popularity index can be estimated from the fact that within four weeks of its launch, the number of G+ users shot up to 18 million. 

Over the years, Twitter and Facebook have managed to carve a niche in net based marketing but the opportunities of World Wide Web are immense, therefore paving the way for another internet giant-Google to come out with their advanced and user friendly social networking site called Google plus which is designed to emerge as an enormous social media marketing tool with added emphasis on people’s privacy and sharing of information to various degrees.
An Overview Of Google Plus Features

Circles: Google plus enables the user to separate his contacts according to different groups they fall into, thus creating different ‘Circles’. This is extremely helpful on the commercial front aside from being of immense importance in the social context. A businessman will be able to group his clients according to their chosen product /service preference. They would most certainly appreciate not being flooded with information and promotional news or offers about products and services they have no interest in. Thus, only relevant information need be shared with each of these contacts apart from the common message pool. 

Circles go one step beyond, to Extended Circles. These are like your circles’ circles. These are a boon to marketing and advertisement because they expand the reach of messages and information relating to products in a geometric progression.

Stream: The ‘Stream’ is a feature of Google Plus which gives instant updates to selected contacts or groups in your circle. Again, an online business stands to gain from this feature because upcoming events like a product launch or special offers can be conveyed to interested parties then and there. These people in turn can share this info with their contacts, leading to an unending chain of information exchange. 

Photos: In addition to the ‘stream’ which allows for convenient and fast broadcast of information, Google Plus also provides a mechanism to facilitate uploading of photos and videos directly from your mobile device. Business marketers no longer need to wait for the morning news paper to publish pictures or videos from the grand launch of brand new products. 

Sparks: These are what really make Google plus shine brighter than any other social networking site. This feature allows you to specify your areas of interest and every time you log in, you have a choice to read, look at pictures or videos about the same. Moreover, you can share this across your circles. This has a definite advantage with respect to selective advertising.

Plus one: Similar to the ‘Like’ feature on Facebook, Google + enables the ‘+’ button which means that a particular item or feature is interesting and needs to be checked out. This is in fact a stamp of approval and can be lodged on individual web pages, which serves as a mark of its quality.

This button holds tremendous potential as an agent of “word of mouth publicity”. It is no secret that if someone’s friends recommend a product or service, he is more likely to sign up for it. Aside from this, SEO experts have analysed that +1s actually are badges of credibility and popularity that pages can don.

Search engine spiders are susceptible to these buttons; therefore the sites carrying this stamp will certainly crawl their way up on the rankings thus generating more traffic.
Video Chat and Huddles: Like on Facebook or Linkedin where you get umpteen comments on your products and services, all queries on Google plus are cleared in no time, owing to its huge audience. 

An additional feature of Google plus is the video chat facility which can be used to facilitate live customer interactions. ‘Huddles’ allow for group chats.

Customers are likely to adore this concept because in addition to giving them all the news, they also get to share reviews and opinions about the product in question. This lends credibility to the merchant using the group chat for publicizing his product. 

Marketers and companies are hidden beneficiaries of this idea in that they get to know the honest opinion of people about their services and hence, they can make efforts towards betterment.  Also, it helps them keep a tab on what their competitors are doing and where they stand in the race.  On a more basic level, it allows them another way to stay in touch and meet for brain storming sessions.
Here Are Some Important Tips For Google Plus Marketing

1. Create a Powerful Profile on Google Plus

This seems to be the most obvious step to start with but your online marketing success on Google will largely depend upon how good your Google+ profile looks.  It is said that first impression is the last impression, so, take the first step and create a Google Plus profile in your name. Choose a nice profile picture that reflects your identity. Avoid putting your own website or product screenshot as a profile picture. Remember that customers like having friends, not companies publicising products or services. 

2. Add Your Company Information

The most crucial step will be to put all relevant information about your company, product and services on your profile. Write about what you do and how people get benefited by your services. It is not a bad idea to include future plans. 
You must guard against making your profile appear robotic or like an organizational monster. People hate seeing selfish businesses trying to intrude in their personal space or entice them into making deals. 

3. Add Relevant People to Your Profile

The wider the reach, better are the prospects of marketing strategies and advertisement campaigns.
Therefore, invite maximum number of people who are strongly or closely related to or interested in your business. And yes, do not forget to add all your Facebook friends to Google Plus. It is not only easy but also very quick. 

All you need to do is to login via Facebook on yahoo account and extract the email addresses of all your Facebook friends. Once you have all the email addresses in your yahoo address book, just export them into an xls or csv format. Now, login to your Google+ account and click on Circles and "Upload Address Book" Link and all the contacts will be added to Google+. Quite easy! Isn't It?

It is a smart move to support some other business’s promotional campaigns, of course in return for their services in the same context. 

In addition to the goodwill it earns you in the corporate world, it also inspires customers to respect your ideals, because you are not the selfish company trying to draw their attention solely to your own products and not letting them explore all their options. Everyone respects a fair dealer and doing this will make you come across as one.

4. Share on Stream

This is your place to share and interact with other Google+ users for intensive Google Plus Marketing.  Post important information and news updates about your company here. 

Do not ever overload your stream with too many messages and posts, or your friends may simply remove you from their friends list thinking of you as a spammer. This will also make them question your credibility, and remember, word travels fast when it’s riding the Google wave. Try to stick to one or two messages every day. 

In your own interest, do not forget to interact with other people via replying or commenting on their posts, photos and updates. People will not only like you for this, but also will take your posts seriously. 

Stream posts can provide tremendous insight into a person’s interests and basic nature. Make sure your own Stream is clean and devoid of anything improper or hurtful to the sentiments of anyone. 

5. Showcase Your Pictures and Videos

People like to see before they believe. Putting a nice collection of photos and videos about your business will be a good idea. When people visit a profile, most of the time, they check the photos and videos in the first place. An attractive album capturing all facets of your business can work wonders for your reputation. Do not forget to tag those who you would like to inform about a picture or video. 

6. Plus One Button - An idea that will change everything

Recently Google introduced "+" button in its search results. The idea behind a + button is very close to Like button on Facebook. This one single innovation here will change the way people market their business on Internet very soon. As Google suggests, every + 1 will be considered as an actual vote given by an individual to a website. So, a website which gets more + 1 votes via search engine or Google Plus will rank higher in search results. If you check out Google Webmaster Tools, you can find there a whole new section about how many + votes you have received and how it is influencing your standings. 

This means that the Google Plus marketing strategy will not only promote your product but also make a huge search impact in favour of your website or page. In short, you will need to collect + votes from your friends and customers. Positive publicity is something that your carefully handled Google Plus profile might enjoy among your friends definitely lends a hand to this cause. 

7. Exploit the G + Technology and Rank High

This is probably the most important and significant piece of information you can ever get. Well, as we talked about the +1 Metric, you must focus on getting +1 votes from people around you.  To achieve this, post updates via Streams and encourage your friends to cast + votes on your posts regularly. Be innovative and fun while doing this or be ready to face cold response from people. 

We have progressed as a civilisation and are no longer influenced too much or too blindly by our friends and acquaintances. People will vote for your site only if they truly recommend it. So, update your profile and post interesting enough messages so that you capture people’s fancy and attention. 

8. Finally - The Advantage of Being A Part Of Google Network

The notification system of Google + is the most efficient and exhaustive ever. You could be browsing any of the sites under Google’s wings but you’ll never miss updates from their networking site. This is a major reason why people will spend more and more time on Google. 

For example, every morning I open Google news and amazingly, I find a red button at top right corner of my browser, which consists of updates from my friends who have joined me. In no time, I switch over to Google plus and start browsing G+ profiles. 

What I am trying to say here is that this makes Google Plus an irresistibly attractive concept and it is bound to be received well and stand the test of time, the former of which it already has to its credit.

Present Scenario

At present, Google Plus is not open to brands and organizations as it is still in its beta testing phase. Till now, more than 35,000 brands have applied for business profiles on this site. Google is sifting through the same and approving suitable ones. 

This is another direct advantage of having a Google Plus profile. Google has earned world wide trust from people and now, if Google approves of something, people approach it with a positive outlook.

Immediate uses of Google plus with reference to business goals lie in content engagement, generation, and publication using ‘Sparks’.

Businesses around the world are gearing up to set themselves up for Google Plus. They are already engaging their PR units in learning the nuances of the system and analyse ways to best use the features available.  In addition, they are encouraging their website developers to update their sites to make them Google friendly in their quest for higher search ranks.

The Google Effect

Google Plus Marketing will impact your online presence significantly as Google has more users that any others site in the world. 

Moreover, like huger waves make huger impacts, carrying the ‘surfer’ across larger distances, products seated on the deafening buzz of Google Plus are likely to be well received owing to the scale of publicity and critical reviews available to enhance their credibility.
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