Why is Google+ good for your business and the importance of reviews.
Submitted by Robert Rock – Social Media Learning
Not yet on Google+ ? Not even sure what Google+ is?
No worries, here’s what you need to know to get started and help your business out.
Google+ is Google social network. At present, it has over 500 million users and over 1 million businesses on the site. Google+ was used by 30% of smartphone users in Q2 on 2013 making it the 4th most used app.
Google sees it as a social layer that enhances many of its online properties.
There are a unique set of features in Google+ that set it apart from other social networks. The main two features that have garnered the most attention is Circles and Hangouts.
Circles allows you to organize your connections into “Circles”. The benefit of this feature is it allows you to target content to particular users. Contacts on Google+ will only see the content you share to the group they’re in and not all of your updates.
Hangouts facilitates group video chats up to 10 participants. It also integrates sharing a Hangout to YouTube with their “On Air” feature. The business use is facilitating large teleconferences through Google+ for free.
Also from a business perspective, Google Local which is a services that allows a company to set up a landing page of sorts for their business. The Local page ranks very high in Google Local search and offers the company the ability to post photos, offer discounts, display their location on Google Maps, and host reviews.
Top reasons to consider Google+ for your business
- Good SEO Boost
- Access to Hangouts
- Platform for engagement
- Ability to segment your Audience
- Ability to better measure your social activity
Now what about reviews?
There are a lot of review sites out there, but it’s always important to know what one is most used for your industry. If you have anything to do with travel, it’s most likely TripAdvisor. If you’re in the food game, you’re constantly on Yelp.
With other industries HomeStars is the major player.
Review spaces are important because the capture the sentiment of your current customers and the sentiment potential customers have of your industry.
Leverage of “happy” clients to spread the word on your behalf brings an authenticity to the positive word of mouth that marketing isn’t able to.
Pitfalls to be aware of with reviews
- No Astroturfing! This is the term that applies to those who write themselves positive reviews. Don’t do it, it’s not worth damaging your name. Recently Samsung has a large fine levied against it for this.
- Don’t put your head in the sand. Whether you’re using or keeping up with review sites or not, your clients are. Without you participating, they caring your brand image to the readers.
- Don’t beg, bribe or bully clients for reviews. Your good work should stand for itself, it’s ok to let your clients know that you use review sites and would appreciate a review on what they thought of your work, but don’t fall into the trap of making it seem like a price of doing business with you.
- Don’t feed the trolls! There are people out there who are just looking for a fight. Don’t get caught up in a war of words over a negative review. Offer your understanding if there is a negative review, and provide a potential solution, but leave it at that. Let the troll bury themselves by continuing a useless exchange.
Getting your business online and social can seem daunting, but there are a lot of useful resources out there that can help.
Read helpful how to articles online, attend a seminar, or see what your competition is doing. If you need more professional help, that’s out there as well.
Remember to just have social, be social
President, Social Media Learning