Ladies and Gentlemen, stop what you're doing, pull up your chairs and prepare for this earth shattering revelation:
You need to be on Google Plus.
Before you begin to groan at the idea of engaging with yet another time consuming social network, it must be said that Google Plus is like and unlike any other social networking website. In addition to providing another channel to engage with passionate consumers, a strong Google Plus presence provides you with a variety of perks associated with other Google services such as Google search, AdWords, Local (formerly Places) and more.
But wait, what is Google Plus?
Google Plus is a multilingual social networking service created by the popular search engine, Google. Social connections can be organized in the form of circles and the user is able to dictate what information they want to share with each circle or group. Another unique feature is the Google Hangout, which allows people to participate in group video chat. Popular Google Hangouts have illustrated the ability to bring strangers passionate about a particular topic to come together as a digital "tribe".
Why is this important?
To Get Found, of course! One of the primary reasons your company initially chose to get on the internet was to get found by your customers as well as potential customers that are looking for your service. This is why we cherish search engine optimization so much, because as competition increases on the web scope, it is important to optimize your content and your channels to make sure you show up as high as possible in search rankings. Your Google Plus presence gives you boost in search rankings, Google Local visibility and up to a 10-15% increase of click-throughs with socially enhanced AdWords placement. It is important to remember it is another place to connect with your customers, but Google Plus adds another layer of utility to companies that use their pages correctly.
Ok, I'll bite. How do I do Google Plus?
First, you have to set up a personal page. Google doesn't allow for direct company page set up but once your personal page is set up it only takes two more clicks to set up a business page. On the left side toolbar, there is a button that gives you more options and from there you click the Pages button and Ta da! Done. Next, fill out all the information you can for your page. Again, this will help you increase the amount of information being indexed in the Google system. Lastly, have a ball! Google Plus is a great place to let creativity run wild and actively engage your consumers. Upload a great profile picture and cover photo to personalize the look of your page. Post engaging content that your followers will want to share with their friends. Keep in mind there aren't currently a very large number of active Google plus users, but don't fret or discount the importance of your presence. Google is expected to continue to implement incentives for companies to actively engage in the space.