Are you ready to spend even more time social networking?
How much of your marketing budget and/or time goes to Social Networking? Most businesses have some sort of presence on at least Facebook and LinkedIn. And maybe Twitter and YouTube.
Google + personal profiles have been out for a while but it was another month before business pages were launched. It's going to take some time before we can tell what kind of social networking/marketing share this new service is going take from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but it's Google so we can't ignore it. A piece of advice I read recently in an article at Marketing Magazine UK is to not rush into building a Google+ Business Page until you have a clear strategy. Makes sense... So of course we did the opposite and just went ahead. For us, it's okay not to have a strategy because the whole point is to learn more. We do agree with the advice though and suggest you set up personal profile first to familiarize yourself with how it works.
There are plenty of resources about Google+ out there if you search. Many of the articles are great but technical or long. We decided to begin our exploration of Google+ by comparing one of their new sharing features to Facebook's. We were curious about these and thought it might be something you be interested in. What I am talking about is the new +1 icons and g+ icons. We have them on our website home page sidebar if you would like to try them 🙂 . And the Google Plus button below in this post works too.
There are similarities and differences. The Google +1 buttons that now appear around the Internet on Google searches and on websites are pretty similar to Facebook like buttons. If you click on one they behave the same way. If you are not logged into your Google account, Gmail for example, you will first be prompted do that and then your 'like', or 'plus' in this case is recorded for that web page.
The new buttons, like the one at the left, are called Google + Direct Connect buttons. When you click on one, you will be taken to the owner's Google+ Page. You can view their feed, share, '+1' and 'follow' the same as you would a Facebook feed. So it's similar to having a Facebook icon on your site that connects to your Facebook profile. Our feeling is this is going to help your SEO efforts for being found in Google searches (maybe only in a small way but every little bit helps). It connects you directly to Google so it can't hurt. Here's an excerpt from a Web Pro Newsletter:
"Google+ has introduced a whole new realm of SEO possibilities based on getting found via Google's own properties.
For one, Google ranks Google+ posts in search results, and they often appear on the first page.
The +1 button obviously helps your search visibility cause. Google made it clear from the beginning that this would be a search signal. If enough people like your content enough to give it a +1, it must be good right? Why not bump it up in the rankings. "
The more of their tools you use and interconnect, the more visible and easier to find you will be in Google searches. Searchers will be able to find your + business page by using the + added to their search term. Here is how they explain it on their Direct Connect info page:
"Google+ Direct Connect lets you quickly navigate to a Google+ page (and even add that page to your circles) when using Google Search. For example, if you searched for the query '+youtube' or '+pepsi,' you could be immediately taken to the YouTube Google+ page, or the Pepsi Google+ page, and given the option to add the page to your circles."
So having a Google+ Business Page is another way for folks to find you and follow you. Start thinking about it now, planning for it soon, and it's very important, we feel, to begin considering what to name your Google + business page.