Recently Google has been implementing many changes to improve Google+. The two most recent features on Google+, Pages and Communities, have been used as marketing tools for businesses, products, brands and organizations. One of the biggest benefits of being on Google+ is being able to easily generate content as well as share and connect with others in your industry.
So what is the difference between Pages and Communities and how can you market your business using these features?
Google + Pages
Google+ Pages is a great way for businesses to promote and establish an online presence on Google+. You can add links to your company’s website and/or its blog, as well as provide in-depth details about your business and its services in the profile section of the page. You can customize your page by adding photos and even employers.
Google+ Pages also allows you only (the owner of the page) to post and share content such as videos, photos, links, or blog posts, which are then entered into Google’s search query. While others can comment on the post, only the owner of the page can actually publish content.
Google + Communities
Unlike Google + Pages, the Community allows any user to share content on a discussion forum. It is a great place to explore, network, and learn new things. If you are a Google+ user, you can access the Community and begin exploring content that relate to topics which interest you or your business. You can even create your own Google+ Community.
When you first visit the Community, you will be asked to select categories that you are interested in. Google + offers a plethora of categories from which to choose. From fashion to politics to start-up companies, you can choose a number of different categories that you would like to gain access to. While some of the Communities grant access immediately, others require request or permission to be added.
Using Pages and Communities in Marketing
Both Google+ Pages and Communities are great tools to market your company, brand, or organization as well as communicate with potential clients or customers and generate leads. Utilizing Pages and Communities are also a great way to build an online presence for your business.
Let’s Start with Google+ Pages
A Google+ Page not only provides your business with search engine results, but also allows you to follow and engage with your customers and fans. It is first recommended that you link your website to your Google+ Page and include a “follow badge” so that you not only accumulate connections, but also improve exposure and search engine results for your website. Now, let’s discuss a few of the tools available using Google+ Pages.
Tag Your Followers
Another major marketing tool that Google+ Pages provide is the tag feature which allows you to tag a person (or persons) to a comment or post you have published on your Page. If you publish a piece of content and know which of your followers would be interested in seeing the piece, you can tag the person to the post. This feature not only gives your content exposure, it also allows you to interact with your followers on a more personal level.
Start a Google+ Hangout
Google+ Hangouts are also a great way to attract an audience. You can run a Google+ Hangout for your Google+ Page by inviting any of your followers. You will have complete access as to who can be included in your Hangout. With Google+ Hangouts, you can discuss topics that interest both you and your guests and interact on a more personal level.
Since YouTube is now owned by Google, you can publish your Hangout (once you’ve recorded it) via YouTube and gain traffic by using keywords in the description as well as hashtags that describe your Hangout/video. This is just another way to gain exposure and increase your search engine results.
Marketing and Google + Communities
Whether you join a community or make your own community, Google+ Communities are a great place to share your content and interact with others who share similar interests as you. You can interact with other companies, your customers, or even potential customers. Google+ Communities gives you plenty of opportunities to generate new leads. Using your Google+ Page, you can create, join, and interact in a number of Google+ Communities. Now how can we use it to market your business, organization, products and brands?
Cater to Your Audience
The best way to attract an audience is to know your audience. Create and post content that will be interesting to them. You can also create communities that relate to your followers on your Google+ Page. The best way to get to know your audience is to communicate with your them and research what their interests are, then tie your brand or business to it. Creating content that is relevant, interesting, and connectable to both your audience and brand is not only a smart marketing tool but an effective one.
Join Other Brands and Networks
By joining the communities of others brands, businesses, and organizations, you will have more opportunities for exposure, building your network, and promoting your brand. Get involved with discussions and comment when you can so that you can get to know other community members and impress users with your knowledge and expertise.
The best way to gain an audience is by exposure through interaction. It’s important to remember not to spam. Spammers never get anywhere, so don’t post your website and community pages all over other community pages.
Discover and Invite
While you are out searching for other communities to join, don’t forget to invite others you come across to join your community. If you find users that share similar interests as you, why not make them your followers! Communities that are set to private but want to gain more of a following can benefit by scoping other communities that are similar to their and finding users that can become great new additions.
Just like Google+ Pages, there are many other tools on Google+ Communities that you can use to market your business. The best way to learn them is by trial and error.