It’s almost been two full years since Google+’s official launch, and many businesses are still wondering how to use it in their social media marketing plan.
This article is part of a six part series by Wishpond. We explore the business benefits of the social media platform, Google+, and how it can help your online marketing efforts.
How to Create your Google+ Business Page from Scratch
- Create your Google account at Google.com if you have not done so already. This will be your Google account for business, not personal use.
- Go to the Google+ website and log in with your Google Account.
- From here, on the left side of the screen, highlight the “More” button, and click the “Pages” button.
- From here, you can choose the category that best fits your organization. The five categories are as follows:
- Local Business or Place
- Product or Brand
- Company, Organization, or Institution
- Art, Entertainment, and Sports
Once you have chosen a category, you have to specify in a little more detail what your business does using a drop-down menu. Make your selection and continue.
The next few steps involves customizing the look and feel of your Google+ Business page.
Note that this is not the official Wishpond Google Plus Page! That can be found here.
- Add your profile photo and your tagline (ten words that describe your page).
- When adding a cover photo, the maximum size is 940 x 180. Make sure to choose a strong image that suits your company or your products!
- Important: Make sure you don’t have anything important on the right side of your cover photo because your profile photo will block that area!
Click the Profile icon at the top and go to the About tab. From there, click Edit Profile. Fill this in with as much relevant information about your business as you can. Contact information, blog pages, and some keywords related to your industry are excellent choices Choose five photos that best represent your company for the photostrip by clicking on each individual photo area and uploading. Be sure to add some activity like status updates and photos to your wall so it does not appear so empty. Share your new page to your contacts!
An example of a completed business page.
Effectively using your Google Plus Business Page
Merely having a nice-looking business page usually isn’t enough to attract followers, so further engagement is necessary. Here are some general tips to increase the effectiveness of your page.
Double Check your Profile is Complete
Nothing looks worse than a lazily completed profile with missing information. Ensure that your brand page has all the required fields completed to project a clean, professional image.
Upload Professional Images for your Cover and Profile Photos
There is no excuse not to properly use the cover and profile photo to your advantage by choosing a powerful image that makes an impression. The profile photo is similarly important, as others can see this when you +1 content or comment on posts, so make sure to choose your best photo.
Keep a Regular Posting Schedule
Keep your page fresh by continuously adding new content for your followers. Blog posts that compliment your brand, as well as other interesting articles will continue to increase your company’s SEO ranking, as well as bring new followers to your site. It is a good decision to use Google Plus Analytics to gauge the effectiveness of all your posts and determine which topics are big hitters among your followers.
Keep on Top of Content with More Managers
Having multiple managers is an excellent way to keep on top of content (see above), especially if there are many different followers and communities to keep track of.
#Hashtag your #Topics to Remain Relevant
Like many other social media networks such as Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter - hashtagging (that is, adding a # before keywords) is a great way to attract users who are searching for a particular topic.
What should I talk about?
Any topic that is relevant to your company and interesting is a good place to start. Promotional campaigns, new products, and even news events can be used as a springboard for discussion and engagement.
Here are some different types of content and examples on how to properly use them:
Text Posts are mostly used for short, to-the-point information. Updates to previous posts, as well as quick calls to action are great ways to encourage discussion. Staples occasionally uses text-only posts in a short call-to-action that directly engages their audience.
Photos can be used in combination with text posts as a way to grab your followers’ attention. Make sure the picture stands out against the rest of the page and is relevant to the text post at hand. Burger King uses photos to help spread the word about one of their social media promotions, as can be seen below.
Google+ is a great way to propagate promotional videos or commercials that relate to your business. However, try to keep them short and to the point. League of Legends, a popular online video game, uses videos on Google+ to highlight new and upcoming content for their fans. .
How do I increase engagement on my Page?
An article on Social Media Examiner looked at three of the most popular business and brand pages on Google Plus (Android, NASA, and Funny Pictures and Videos, respectively) and established some key insights that led to increased engagement.
NASA posts incredibly frequently about relevant information in a variety of media formats.
- Use a wide variety of different media to engage your audience. This helps your page stay unique.
- Understand what your audience wants and customize your content to please them. Content they like is much more likely to be shared!
- Posts based on recent news content. Posting time-sensitive content that is both interesting and relevant to your business will encourage discussion from your followers.
- Although direct contests and sweepstakes cannot be done through Google Plus, posting information on promotions and deals can still be very effective.
- Ensure any call to actions on your page are visible to increase campaign success.
Verifying your Business Page
Verification is very important in setting up your Google+ Business Page as it means you are the official creator of that page. This boosts your authenticity to Google, increasing your site in it’s search rankings and in the future. Verification also allows your business page to get a business badge, which allows people to both +1 your site and join your circles in one click. Furthermore, verification means that your Google+ Business Page may get it’s very own custom URL.
A custom URL (or vanity URL) condenses your profile URL into something readable and easily remembered. For example, this is what a normal Google+ URL looks like:
This is our official Wishpond Google+ Page. Check it out!
And this is the Google+ URL for a celebrity, specifically Hugh Jackman:
Unfortunately, we’re not as popular as Hugh Jackman…yet.
At the moment, not everyone can get their Google+ Vanity URL. Google is still slowly rolling out these special custom URLs in waves, so it is currently unclear as to when regular businesses can get them.
At Wishpond, we want you to succeed in your social media marketing. That’s why we developed easy to use social promotion apps, and put them into our Social Marketing Suite. You gain access to all our contest, sweepstakes and group deal apps, which work on Twitter, Facebook, and your website.