Online Advertising Tips

How to Get the Most Out of Google+

Internet Marketing

Are you currently using Google+ in your business?  You could be forgiven if not.  It’s been around since the middle of 2011 and had been seemingly slow to take off but the number of active users it has developed might just surprise you.  According to a recent article in Forbes  Google+ had amassed over 343 million users at the end of 2012.  Whilst still significantly behind Facebook’s reported 693 million it is still quite an achievement given Google+ was only approaching its second birthday. Read full post at http://traveleuropehq.com/10-great-tips-engaging-facebook-business-page/.

So what are the main reasons for using Google+?

  • It’s a Google product! – As Google is the dominant force on the web it makes a lot of sense for businesses to develop a Google+ strategy.  If you develop quality content that attracts comments, shares and +1’s on your Google account it will significantly increase your visibility on the web, personally and at company level.
  • Segmentation of your audience – Google+ makes it really easy to segment your followers so that you can tailor your communications to the needs of each group, for example organising your contacts into customers, prospects and suppliers.   Simply create a circle for each group and drag and drop your contacts into each.  If you struggle with this step check out the Google+ support page here
  • Content has SEO benefits – Your Google Plus profile and business page are included in Google search results which give you a boost in the rankings making it easier for others to search and find you.  This is because posting content on Google+ doesn’t just share it with your contacts it also flags it to Google and it is indexed relatively quickly.  So if you’ve ever had problems with Google taking for ever to crawl and index your site this is a quick fix for you.
  • Personalised Search – Google+ is smart, really smart.  Once you have developed a relationship with people, added them to your circles then Google helps elevate your relevant posts in the search of your Google+ contacts.  Providing your contact is logged into Google it makes the link with your content and their search requirement and elevates your content in their search results.  You can tell when this has happened as a little graphic of a head and shoulders appears next to the result, here is an example courtesy of Googles own blog: (http://adjustabledumbbellsninja.com)

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Google+ Personalised Results

  • You can monitor the reach of your content – Google Ripple is a fantastic tool designed to demonstrate how viral your content is.  If you share a post to Public in Google+ it can show you how often your content is being shared.  All you need to do is paste the URL of your content into the tool and it will show you the number of times it has been shared on a handy graph.  Also to the right hands side of the graph it will show you who shared it publicly.  So Ripples is a great way to find out who your key promoters are so make sure you show your appreciation for their support.  Working on your network with the aim of creating valuable content and cultivating long term relationships will help the development of these valuable contacts.
  • Google Authorship – is how Google authenticates your business and accepts it as a source of high-quality content and is linked to your Google+ account.  One of the key benefits of this is that once you have signed up to the Google Authorship Program your blog posts will start to get a photo displayed next to it in the search results and your posts will start to rank higher.  Google authorship will also provide you with a number of other benefits:
    • Higher click through rate – as your posts will stand our more and will appear to have more authority given the personal touch a picture provides.
    • More traffic to your Google+ Profile as this is linked in the search result and a quick click on the “by author name” takes the searcher straight to your page.
    • “More by” link next to the author name can take the user to other content you have created.

(It took me a while to work out to set up Google Authorship for my WordPress site so in my next post I will show you how to do this quickly).

So what do you think of Google+?  Has this post changed your opinion?  Will you use it more than you have or do you already use it?  Keen to hear your views.

10 Great Tips for an Engaging Facebook Business Page

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1.       Post consistently and always consider the added value – Don’t spam your customers with lots of updates per day but equally don’t go for days without posting an update so strike a balance.  Also, consider your posts from your customer’s perspective i.e. what’s in it for them and why they liked your page in the first place.  Doing this will ensure you stay on message and keep your followers engaged with your page.  The more engaged your followers are with your pages posts the more likely they are to continue to appear in their news feed.  If a customer ignores your posts for a prolonged period then your posts will disappear from their news feed altogether and they are unlikely to revisit your page off their own back so the likelihood is you’ve lost them forever. their news feed.  If a customer ignores your posts for a prolonged period then your posts will disappear from their news feed altogether and they are unlikely to revisit your page off their own back so the likelihood is you’ve lost them forever. 

2.       Don’t just post, ask questions and start a discussion – encourage engagement on your wall by asking questions and starting discussions.  These questions can be about your products, services, a topical news item or even asking customers about the challenges they face which your business may have the solutions for.  This tactic works really well when you are struggling for fresh new content as your followers will likely provide an angle with their response – or even result in a new sale or business opportunity! Read more at http://josoor.org.

3.       Personalise your comments – if you have time try replying personally to your followers individually (by typing@ then typing the name of the person you want to reply to immediately afterwards with no spaces).  It will make your follower feel special and show the rest of your followers that you will engage with them. 

4.       Thank your new followers – send a personal message to all new people who like your page.  This may be difficult to do if your page really takes off so another tip could be to send a weekly welcome message to all new followers – you could even list them in the body of your message.  This will reflect well on your brand, shows you actively manage your page and care about your audience.

5.       Re-Post your best content – not all of your fans will be looking at facebook when you post your content, some might not sign in for a while so if you have an interesting post or link to share post it several times over a few days under different guises (if you re post exactly the same it is likely to bore the original recipients!).  Don’t use this approach all the time as you can appear spammy, save it for your killer content.   You can also pin important posts to the top of your timeline for up to a week, simply hover your cursor over your post, click the pencil item and select pin to top.

6.       Swift engagement – if someone comments on a status update or posts a message on your timeline try to reply as soon as possible.  Late replies reduce the chance to continue a conversation, provide a solution to a problem or thank a customer for their input and support.

7.       Use Images and Video  – pages that regularly use photo’s, images and video tend to generate far more engagement than pages that don’t – after all its far more interesting than pure text.  If you can, try to include an image with every update and encourage your followers to share your post.  Doing so will help you reach a far greater audience than you expected and can result in people checking out your page (and hopefully following you).  Keep your images and videos in line with your brand, the viral potential can be damaging as well as beneficial.

8.       Create Facebook Offers – once your page gets over 100 likes the offers menu will appear on your page.  This feature enables you to create interactive offers to drive sales activity and promote special deals.  Everyone likes a deal and if it’s good enough will probably tell their friends about it so encourage your fans to share it and they probably will.

9.       Limit auto-posting – auto-posting your tweets, video’s and posts might seem like a good idea especially because it saves time but could lead your fans to view your page as spammy because of the robotic nature of your communications.  Posting manually enables the customisation of your message which will make a huge difference to your page – it doesn’t actually take that much more time to do.  I have disabled the Publicise feature in my WordPress blog for this very reason.

10.   Promote Events – If you have an event you are organising try inviting some of your followers using the events feature.  It’s a great way to show off how popular your business is and can create hype around the event too – people can see which of their contacts are going stimulating discussion and you can create a series of countdown status updates building up to the event so overall fantastic PR.

What do you think?  What works for your Facebook page?  Keen to hear your views.

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