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Effective Marketing Using Google+

Google+, a relative newcomer among the major social media platforms, is gaining traction with several hundred million users and the user base is growing quickly.  What makes Google+ such an interesting and robust platform is the many different components. First, there is the opportunity to interact with others in the Google+ community by including selected people in your circles. A circle defines the relationship between users. Another component is the events feature where specific offline or online events can be scheduled and promoted. One of the most interesting Google+ components is Hangouts and Hangout on Air. Hangouts allows up to nine people to interact with each other using live video. Hangouts On Air allows the interaction between users to be broadcast live on YouTube.

Here are some tips for harnessing the marketing power of Google+:

Create a Personal Profile
As the owner of a business, you must first create a Google+ personal profile. When completing the profile, write complete and compelling information about you within the provided “About” page. Select an attractive photo for the top of the page. Include links to your other sites. Make sure the profile contains your real name.

Use a Vanity URL for Your Profile
The default address of your Google+ profile is a series of numbers that are hard to remember. Use a free service like www.gplus.to select your own name and use that to promote your profile. It will be easier for people to remember and will help establish your brand and image.

Create a Business Page
Click on the “new page” button on your personal profile page. Select “local business” when setting up the page. Provide complete information about your business such as your address, phone number, and operating hours. Add one or more attractive photos of your business.

Reviews
Encourage customers to leave positive reviews of your business on your page. Positive reviews enhance your reputation and encourage potential customers to do business with you.

Create a Community
Google+ provides a feature where you can create an online community for people with like interests to communicate with each other. Set up a community of people to discuss topic areas related to your business. Interact with participants and provide value to encourage potential customers to interact with you. Reach out and invite others to join the community.

Broadcast Live on YouTube
Using Google Hangouts on Air to broadcast live programs each week. Invite interesting guests related to your company’s area of expertise. Invite those in your circles and the public to attend and participate in the live broadcast. Set up a YouTube channel branded with your company for the broadcast.

Promote Your Profile External to Google+
Place a Google+ badge on your blog and website with a link to your profile. Include your Google+ address in offline media such as business cards.

Create and Share Valuable Circles
Create one or more circles of influential or interesting people in your niche. Use Google+’s “share circle” feature to add value to others by sharing your circle of contacts.

Consider Leveraging the Power of Google+ Photos
Regularly provide interesting photos to others connected to you within your circles. Simply post the photos within the Google+ stream to share the photos with others.

Consistent Content Posting
Post interesting content to share with others on a consistent basis. Make sure the content isn’t all about you but shares useful information with others. Effective social media involves providing value to others. The more value you provide, the more others will want to add you to their circles. The more people that have you in their circles, the more your content will be exposed to others who may be interested in doing business with you.


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