If you are a business owner looking to increase your presence on Google Plus please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I offer several monthly packages or consulting opportunities.
Business owners must utilize every waking moment they have if they are going to make the money to succeed. Most entrepreneurs and business owners know they cannot be everything to every one. This mindset needs to remain true when it comes to Internet Marketing and social media. When speaking at conferences or to groups of business owners I often explain that it is better to pick one or two social networks rather than trying to do them all. There simply isn’t enough time in the day to master Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and all the other social networks that will gain in popularity over the next several years.
If I had to choose one social network to help local businesses I would easily choose Google Plus. Google Plus is baked into Google Local, Google Search, Google Maps, Android, GMail and YouTube. If your business gets phone calls or customers from Google search it would behoove you to start using Google Plus much more in the next six to 12 months. I know every “expert” has told you that a Facebook page is necessary. My question to you is this, “how much business have you received from your Facebook page?” Any? One customer? Two customers?
Facebook vs Google Plus
Most of us can agree that the majority of our friends and family members have a Facebook profile. Most businesses have some type of Facebook page. Heck, our pets and favorite desserts have a Facebook presence. That said, people go to Facebook to find out information related to friends, family and loved ones. They do not go to Facebook to shop or look for services. If you just got into a car accident are you going to go on Facebook to search for a medical facility? Is Facebook the way you would look up health insurance companies to make certain you are covered? Would you consider using Facebook to look for a body shop to get your vehicle repaired?
It is highly unlikely. You know where most people go to “search” for that information? Google! Why not use the Google social product if you are getting the majority of your business from Google? While there is much debate as to whether Google+ affects SEO or search there is no debate that Google Plus is here to stay. In fact, all Google employees have their bottom line in mind as their bonus is determined by the growth of Google Plus. If Google Plus were to stop growing or plateau all Google Plus employees would find that the bonus is not as high as previous years.
Google Plus and YouTube
What some business owners may not recognize is that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. YouTube receives more searches than Yahoo! and Bing combined. Google Plus and YouTube are now one and the same as Google has made YouTube profiles Google Plus profiles. A popular feature of Google Plus is Hangouts on Air. These are live video calls that can include up to nine people. Once the video call has been completed the .mp4 file is converted to a YouTube video to use as branding or promotional material.
In essence, a business can create a TV commercial for the cost for a webcam and a microphone. If you want much more information on Google Plus Hangouts on Air please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I have several weekly and monthly series I do with lawyers, doctors and dentists. Most of the time these videos are the professional answering very common questions such as “How Often Should I Go to the Dentist If I Have Cavities”. If you offer a service or a product there are literally thousands of videos you could do at a very affordable price.
Something else that is very useful when it comes to YouTube is the fact that you can customize the video in any way you like. If you want to add a link to your website in the about section you can do so. If you want to add annotations with your 1-800 number you can do so. Heck, you can even change the lighting or the background music if that is your desire. As YouTube continues to advance it is getting easier and easier to create your own customized channel which can be used as promotional material.
Google Plus and Search
We have heard it time and again, “Google Plus doesn’t affect search”. Well, I am here to tell you that that statement is false. If a Google user puts your business page or personal profile in a circle you can directly affect their search results. Google released Search Plus Your World several years ago to create a personalized search result for Google users. This means that the more circles you are in the more searches you are affecting.
If you have built up a very strong local presence on Google Plus you will be able to affect the search results of individuals looking to spend money right now. If your private practice is in Asheville, North Carolina and 5,000 Asheville residents have circled you on Google Plus you are affecting a large percentage of the populations searches. If you post on Google Plus that you are accepting new patients or you are having a celebration your reach will be much broader than that of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
These are just a few things to consider when it comes to choosing a social network in which to spend time. If your business thrives from ranking in Google search it is a no brainer to use the many tools provided for free on Google Plus. If you have struggled with Google Plus in the past please feel free to reach out to me and I will be more than happy to help get the ball rolling with your Google+ Local page or your Google+ business page.
Jesse Wojdylo is the creator and owner of Wojdylo Social Media.