Just when we thought it was safe to rest for a second, another social media site hits the scene to shake up those marketing plans. Again.
Since its inception at the end of 2011, Google+ has grown astronomically and stole the spotlight by snagging more headlines than any of its competitors.
As the site continues to grow, it continues to define itself as a major player in the social media marketing arena. NOW businesses too have the opportunity to throw their hat in the ring with Google+ Pages for professional purposes.
While to some it may seem straight-forward how to use Google+ Pages for business, many are confused as to how to set up brand marketing on the site.
Much like Facebook – Google+ has some ground rules that you have to follow. Remember before Facebook Pages, how many companies registered their business under a personal profile…and when Facebook Pages was implemented, were left out in the cold and had to start over? Thankfully Facebook has fixed this problem and now those who were out in the cold can transfer their info over to an official Facebook Page, but what a pain, right?!
Google+ moved quickly on this front in order to trounce this confusion and to get users started using the Pages quickly. But the question remains: if I am marketing my business in Google+, do I use a Google+ Profile or a Google+ Page?
Here’s the skinny. The best way to get the most out of your time on any social site is to follow the guidelines that are presented when you sign up. If they are asking for your first and last name – its a personal profile. If they are asking for your business name and website – it’s a Google+ Page. Pretty straight-forward right?
Here’s a little curve ball for ya…in order to create a Google+ Page, a personal profile must be presented. Yikes! What do I do now?
First, don’t worry. Think of your Google+ Profile as you would your LinkedIn profile. You can list your interests, achievements, work and educational history, as well as social media links and lots more. Update your profile and interact on Google+ as if you were on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter in a professional way.
Now on to your Google+ Page! This is pretty much a similar format to your Facebook Page, Company Twitter or LinkedIn Company Profile. Here, updates will be in your brand’s voice and carry information that your company wants to share to engage your audience.
So to keep it short and simple, use both profiles to market yourself and your business on Google+, as this will give you two areas of coverage. Not interested in having your personal details connected? Keep your personal profile sparse. I think it is best to fill everything in, but everyone is different. Here’s one way to look at it; The internet is a pretty open place, you can find out just about everything and anything about someone – so rather than hide behind your business, be transparent! Although there may be some good reasons that one may not want to be the spokesperson for the company’s
Google+ or LinkedIn page, the trick here is in how you manage your privacy settings, and what content you put online.
I was listening to an online radio show from the UK yesterday that said that of 300 hiring firms, almost all of them had ‘researched’ social media sites regarding individual candidates – the takeaway from that should NOT be negative…rather – solidly build, manage, and populate your social media sites, and they will be your living resume! (And if someone is interested in speaking to you about a job offer – they will usually contact you utilizing your offline contacts!)
Once you have yourself setup – dive in! The conversations are lively and you will be able to connect with lots of interesting people and drive brand awareness like never before.