How To Use Google Plus Business Pages
With over 400 million users, Google+ is an up and coming social melting pot waiting for you to unleash your secret weapon: your business information. This social media tool can help you attract new customers and strengthen your relationship with existing ones. And just in case you didn’t know, if a lead happens to run a search with keywords that match your business’ description in Google’s famous search engine and your business happens to have a business page listed on Google+, your page will organically be listed as a search result. Enough said. Let’s set your business up:
Enabling Google+ Premium Features
To ensure that you are using Google+ at its maximum capacity you will first need to enable the Premium Features in your Google Apps Dashboard. This gives you access to features such as Google Hangout, a tool that allow you to place face-to-face video calls with up to nine other people. To enable these features please log in to your Google Apps admin control panel at admin.google.com and navigate to your Google+ Settings (under Settings) to click on the Preview Premium Features button.
Once you’ve enabled the premium features in your Google Apps control panel you should get access to enabling Hangouts for your domain by going to your Settings > Talk (in the new control panel Google Apps > Settings for Talk > Advanced Settings) and enable feature under Enable the new Hangouts for messaging and video calls.
Creating a Google+ Business Page
In order to create such a page you need to make sure you have an individual Google+ profile page first. Once you have one you can move forward with the business page. Go to Pages and click Create a Page.
Select a Category for your business/product from the following options:
If you choose the Local Business or Place category you will be prompted to enter your country and telephone number. This will allow Google to search for your business in its database to find your existing business or prompt you to add your business to Google’s system.
Branding Your Business Page
Customize your Google+ Business page by adding your company’s logo, tagline and other information that will make the page useful to your customers and welcoming to your leads. You can fill out the About page, providing your office address and a brief description of your company’s products and services. You can also add links to sites that are associated with your business, such as your company website and blog, Twitter and other social media pages. Adding photos of events your business partook in or how-to videos are optional as well but always a plus (no pun intended).
Posting Through Your Business Page
Start posting information related to the industry of your business such as how-to videos, share online deals, post images and/or host a Hangout session to answer questions that your leads and existing customers might have. Just share! Don’t overwhelm your followers of course by posting several times a day (Google recommends posting every other day to stay current without being pushy). The objective is to grow your follower base and maintain an open relationship with them based on your expertise.
Your Business Page and Google AdWords
Social Annotations are endorsements for your business from your Google+ followers that appear on your Google AdWords campaign. This means if you are a Google AdWords customer Google will show off your followers count on Google+.
According to Google, “AdWords ads that appear on Google and some search partners are eligible to show social annotations when our system detects an active and verified Google+ page. These annotations will be shown when our system predicts that they will improve campaign performance.” If you do not want this information to be shared on your ads you can contact Google by filling out their Opt Out of Automatic Social Annotations form.
Using Google+ to grow your business makes sense because it integrates very seamlessly with all of your other Google products such as Google Apps (not only can you share links from your Gmail inbox but you can also create a calendar event from Google Calendar that generates a Hangout session to be shared with guests) and the aforementioned Google AdWords. The fact that you are being listed in Google searches alone is a good enough reason for you to create your Google+ Business page and maintain it to develop long-lasting relationships with your customers and partners. Now is the time for change and you can’t go wrong with this marketing opportunity.