Google Plus For Business / Getting Ahead Without A Business Profile
A lot of businesses have been trying to get their foot in the door with Google Plus. Google has made it clear that they will delete any business who sets up an account on their social network service. Down the road Google Plus will begin rolling out Business Profiles for a select few businesses who signed up to test their new business products. However, the sign up deadline passed on July 15th. So, what can you do if you missed the deadline? The answer isn’t as bleak as you might imagine.
How are businesses using Google Plus without breaking the rules?
I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing the Google Plus user base. Yes, there are some early adopters who appear to be breaking the rules such as Mashable, CNN and Ford Motor Company. While it may be tempting to setup a profile for your own business, there is a high risk that Google will remove your account. So, how do you help your business on Google Plus without breaking the rules and risking account deletion? The key is you. You, as an individual are a marketing spokesperson for your brand. If you use Google Plus wisely you can build a reputation as an expert in your field, you can build a loyal following which in turn will turn into business leads and happy customers.
Looking at the most successful Google Plusers
I’ve spent a great deal of time observing some of the more popular personalities using Google Plus. Many of them were high profile before Google Plus came along but that doesn’t mean you can’t build your own following by offering useful content. Sean Bonner has nearly 9,000 followers. He’s become known as a sort of “king of funny” when it comes to Google Plus posts. He has a knack for posting hilarious graphics and animated gif’s. Why is this important? Entertainment brings new followers. Mashable News is giving a continuous stream of Google Plus news which Plusers are re-sharing like crazy. This may explain why their brand hasn’t been pulled by Google. Why is this important? They are offering content that G+ users like to share. Tom Anderson (founder of MySpace) offers a constant stream of Google Plus tidbits and help info. His niche is firmly entrenched in social networking and makes for a good example of defining your role in the Google Plus universe. Leo Laporte has been around since the early days of computing, before everyone was on the internet he was writing articles for leading tech magazines. While he hasn’t been able to build a brand page for his TWiT Netcast Network, he has still been able to communicate with his audience through his personal Google Plus profile.
Bringing it together, making yourself a success
When you look at the top Google Plus users a pattern emerges. They all offer something to their audience and I’ll guarantee that any mention they make of a product, service or brand won’t be ignored by their followers. They are making a personal connection rather than a “buy this” marketing scheme. If you can become the spokesperson for your field, people will follow and it will lead to business. Let’s face it. Business pages are boring, people are interesting. Take advantage of that! Another important note: When you post on Google Plus it works differently than Facebook. Any post you make that gets re-shared will list you as the original author, no matter if it’s shared by a friend of someone else who shared your post. You get credit! This is huge for gaining followers and spreading a viral message.
Integrating your Google Plus profile into your blog or website.
Not only do you want your Google Plus followers to visit your blog or website, you need your bloggers to follow you on Google Plus. Social Statistics has created a widget you can use to display your profile badge on your blog. To get it, just visit their site and log in with your Google id or paste your profile id in the space provided on the top right of the page. Then you can copy your badge code to your blog or site. If you look to the right hand side of my blog you can see what the widget will look like on your site. Another useful addition to your website is the Google +1 button. I can’t stress enough how important this simple button is. When a visitor click the button it will display their recommendation in the Google search results anytime one of their friends is doing a Google search and it can have a major impact on new visitors. Also Google will surely use the number of +1′s as a ranking indicator that will boost your page in the rankings for anyone doing a search. You can get the +1 button from Google.
I hope this article has helped clear up the benefits of becoming an early adopter of Google Plus and given some insight about gaining momentum for your business. While you’re here, check out some of these related articles: Google Plus Business Profiles / Pages Coming Soon – Celebrities on Google Plus / Who to Follow! – Google Plus Project Redefines Social Networking.