Google+ pages and circles are two of the best ways to engage with your existing customers and to expand your marketing reach. When used correctly, both these tools can add another dimension to your overall Google+ marketing strategy.
When I first joined G+ I thought of the ‘circles’ idea as simply a clumsy way of categorizing your G+ friends – almost like an over-complicated Facebook friends list. Thankfully I was wrong.
Circles offer a very shrewd way of organizing your Google+ contacts and, as a result, targeting who sees your content. Let’s take a simple example of two circles, one which contains your current customers and one which contains potential customers.
The content you share to these two circles should be very different. For instance, if a regular customer came into your shop to buy groceries, you wouldn’t start telling them that you sell groceries – they already know that! Use circles to pick and choose who you share updates with and adapt your content accordingly.
If you’ve read my previous two articles on Google+ marketing (see Part 1 and Part 2) then you’ll know that who engages with your content is just as important as how many interactions you get. If an ‘influential’ user interacts with your content, then that update can have a far greater impact than if 10 ‘average’ users interact with that update.
With that in mind, it may be worthwhile creating a small but targeted ‘influencer’ circle.
If you share a post with a specific circle rather than the ‘public’, Google gives you the option of notifying those people about your update via email. This will increase the likelihood that your chosen influencers will click-through, read and hopefully interact with that post. But don’t use this tool too often, as you run the risk of being perceived as a spammer.
To hear more about Google+, content marketing and much, much more, join us at Social Media Marketing 2013 (London) on October 23/24.
Using a Google+ page is the most obvious way to market your business on this platform. What’s important here is the tone of your social media marketing efforts and optimizing your page’s profile.
Before we go in to that, let’s explore what added features G+ pages have, compared to personal profiles.
The first notable difference between a personal profile and a page is the +1 button that pages have. A ‘+1’ is simply a recommendation. It means your company will appear more on people’s suggested pages within Google Plus and having plenty of +1’s will give your site a SEO boost to people within your page’s extended circles.
Therefore, you’ll want to garner as many +1’s as possible. The easiest way to do this is to simply add a +1 button to your blog or company website. This means people can easily recommend your content on your site via Google Plus without having to leave your website.
Another handy tool you’ll want to make use of when setting up a page is the ‘verify website’ option. Linking your Google+ page to your website this way has a number of advantages:
- Trust. The little grey tick next to your web address may encourage people to circle or +1 your page. After-all appearing trustworthy is one of the most important aspects of marketing.
- Knowledge graph. Verifying your website could mean that a knowledge graph appears in Google search. However, it would appear you need a lot of engagement before Google hands you this privilege.
- Custom URL. Linking your website and Google+ page in this way means that Google will consider your page for a custom URL. Google has already begun to release this feature slowly.
What other features do pages have?
Google+ pages can perform all of the same actions as a personal profile can – unlike Facebook’s pages. You can join communities, comment, post, +1, share, create circles, and more.
You’ll also want to add your blogs and other social networks to the ‘link’ section of your profile, which creates a network of back-links to your company page, which as I explained in part 1, is very important for your social SEO efforts.
Appearing ‘human’ is always important when posting on social media as a business, so why not use Google+ to post pictures from your office, mention colleagues and offer personal insights. You want to reassure your G+ contacts that your business is a collection of people – not just a corporate robot.
Join us at Social Media Marketing 2013 (London) on October 23/24 to hear from fantastic speakers such as Doug Kessler and Dr Dave Chaffey. You can see the full programme here.