Google+ Tips from Big Business
No matter what your opinion of social networking sites, the fact is that they have become an integral part of Internet marketing and doing business online. Sure, you already realize that you can broaden your target audience by using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But did you know that proper use of Google+ actually has the potential of pushing your brand higher in PageRank?
Google+ brings all of Google’s services together in one convenient package. Using data gleaned from user searches and activity while they are logged in, Google is able to personalize search results and advertisements. When a user is logged in to Google+ and participates by using the +1 feature or simply sharing information, Google is able to obtain even more data on its users, taking personalization further.
For these reasons, having an active, correctly used Google+ profile can be just as beneficial as using other web pages. In fact, many companies have taken advantage of this and have begun to use Google+ for SEO purposes. Below is a list of companies who do Google+ the right way and have seen success by using best practices on the site. Take some Google+ tips from the following:
The first thing you see when you visit Cadbury UK’s Google+ page is currently an enormous photo of an enticing, mouthwateringly gorgeous chocolate cake topped with plump raspberries. Even if you didn’t already know what Cadbury is all about, a glimpse at their page leaves no doubt as to what business they are in! Cadbury was one of the first brands to get into Google+, and they now have just over three million followers. The company posts updates daily, interacting with their followers, hosting Hangouts, and posting teasers of new products. During the 2012 Olympics in London, Cadbury used Google+ to publicize their sponsorship of the Games.
Ford has done very well integrating online marketing with social networking, taking full advantage of the ability to use personalized information to reach more consumers. The company launched a social sales tool in 2012, enabling customers to visit a local Ford dealership’s Facebook page and see its current inventory—an ingenious idea for not only reaching consumers on a national level, but on a specialized, local level as well. Ford carries its social marketing knowledge to Google+, where there is no shortage of photos and videos of their vehicles and events. It engages its audience of over 2.8 million by asking questions and inviting them to post pictures of themselves with their Ford vehicles.
Red Bull’s marketing strategy focuses on a determined, adrenaline-filled way of living rather than on its product. While its logo is certainly peppered throughout its Google+ page, which has about 2.3 million followers, you would be hard pressed to find a photo of an actual can of Red Bull anywhere in its posts. Instead, the content Red Bull shares is geared toward its target audience. The company’s page has videos and pictures of people taking part in extreme sports and other activities having to do with adrenaline, strength, and dauntless feats. Doing this attracts a certain type of consumer and allows the brand to reach its target audience easily.
Representing another lifestyle is H&M’s Google+ page. The international fashion retailer currently has 3.2 million followers who love fashion and want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends while also enjoying moderately priced goods. H&M doesn’t just post pics of its own products. It also captures its followers’ attention with exclusive content like street-style posts, trend updates, themed lookbooks, and how-to videos. In addition to posting its own content, H&M engages its audience by asking questions and sharing followers’ posts, including photographs and blogs.
The subject of sports is one of the most popular topics on any social media platform. It’s a topic that can cause controversy and dissension while also bringing together people who have nothing else in common. So why wouldn’t ESPN, the self-proclaimed “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” take full advantage of social media? It presents an opportunity of built-in advertising for the sports media giant. ESPN posts content several times a day that includes sports news and fun facts combined with shared content. The brand has even participated in a popular social media theme called Throwback Thursday (#tbt) by posting classic videos from sports history. Posts on ESPN’s Google+ page generate much discussion and debate among its 3.8 million followers.
The technology blog known as Mashable shares some pretty interesting posts with its 2.5 million followers that you just can’t help but click through. An infographic with a title that asks, “How much does it cost to be Spider-Man?” simply cannot be ignored. The site shares updates multiple times per day, but perhaps one of the most unusual thing about its Google+ page is that it had its fans help design it. That sounds like the ultimate in engaging your audience. Mashable is also good at using Hangouts to interact with followers.
Though these examples are all major brands, Google+ is also yet another invaluable tool for small businesses, especially those who incorporate SEO into their marketing plans. Having a properly maintained Google+ page can give you the upper hand in PageRank and also use Google services more effectively. Grow your follower base by posting exclusive content on your G+ page, adding the +1 feature to your website’s homepage and all content therein, and interacting with your followers on a regular basis. Take a look at other top brands’ Google+ profiles and see what works for them. You might get some great ideas for engaging your community from the ones who offer similar services or products to yours.