Google's social network hasn’t provided Facebook with the competition that
many thought it would when Google+ was first announced, but its importance as a social media
avenue towards Web success cannot be denied. Fortunately, some best practices have begun to emerge in recent months.
Below are some of the strategies that may give your Web enterprise an advantage over the competition when utilizing Google+, which should be a priority for any online company that is not yet doing so.
Perhaps the biggest difference between Google+ and competing social networks is the Circles feature, and the most successful brands have been
able to optimize the management of their Circles. The purpose of Circles is to organize contacts
into helpful groups based on different characteristics, and by segmenting a company's contacts into Circles, that business is able to manage who sees what messages. This provides one way to establish trust and loyalty with
users, and you will most likely find
them more involved with your content and engaging with your company's G+ page more often as a result.
Segmentation can be
done by location, interest, relation to your business or any number of other criteria. The important thing is to make sure that you manage your circles in such a way
that content will be relevant to one or more
of these groups.
Social media is an important part of every business' Web presence in 2012, but the ultimate goal is to get users back onto your company's website. This is especially important if you’re
connecting with users on Google+ because the site doesn’t yet allow
vanity URLs, making certain sites difficult to find through this channel if
the user is not yet familiar with a company.
Google+ does provide a simple set of codes and
buttons so that users can link to your site through G+, and you can easily access this
information by going to the “Get Started” option beneath your company's name and/or avatar on
the Google+ home page.
One underrated feature of Google+ is the
ability to add links to your “About” page and that they are highly customizable. Business owners can add links by clicking the “Edit Profile” option and going to the "About" tab.
you add a link to the “Recommended Links” option, you will be able to also include a title that tells the user
where they will be directed. You can use this space to send users to your other
social media profiles, your primary website or other relevant sites that they
may find useful, and you can tag these links however you’d like.
The only design elements that companies control over their
brand pages on Google+ are profile pictures and the five Scrapbook Photos at the top of the page. This allows brands to express their creativity, share a little about the company and, most importantly, build an online identity.
Some good examples of companies that take full advantage of
this feature are Starbucks, BMW, Pepsi and Google’s own Android.
most important thing a business can do with any social media campaign is to provide
meaningful information to users by inviting interaction. This means posting engaging content
that will both interest and inform users while creating a sense of trust and familiarity
with the brand or company. Website owners should also be interacting with users and
responding to their comments, good and bad.
Another way to invite engagement is by establishing a voice as an expert in a particular industry. Share your own content and other valuable information via links, photos and videos on Google+. With Circles, website owners can create a “Suggested”
group of important people and companies around their industries to share with
users. Whether these methods garner attention from colleagues or customers, they will likely provide business owners with insightful feedback and