The jury is still out on how deep Google+ will penetrate the mainstream audience. It is the fastest growing social media platform to date, so if you are a small business owner you have to have an eye on it. Here are four steps as a small business owner that you should be looking at to take full advantage of Google+ if you decide to take the plunge when G+ opens it’s doors to brands and businesses.
Website: I am surprised at how many small businesses don’t have websites. Most reports show that 55% of small businesses do not have a website. In some ways the smaller, your business the more important it is to have a website. With WordPress, it is easier than ever to have an affordable website. A website, which you as a small business owner can control and make changes. Your Website is your hub for all social media, not just, what is there today, but will be coming tomorrow. Therefore, it is critical to create a hub for your social media. If you do not have a website, put it on the priority list, if you have one, get it on order, and make it your hub.
SEO: We are talking about Google here, the king of search engines. Do you think that they are going to create some kind of search advantage for businesses that are on Google+? I do! SEO is often over looked by the small business owner. They think it automatically comes with their web design. Make sure you are optimizing your website with the proper SEO techniques. If you are practicing good SEO with your website then Google+ is only going to enhance it.
Organize Your Customers: Google+ brings circles to life. If you could categorize your customers how many categories would, you put them in. Frequent, repeat, difficult, not often enough, best, on our e-mail list, etc. Would you talk to them differently? Google+ allows you to categorize your clients in circles and send messages to just those circles. For us at Paradux Media Group our ‘likes’ on Facebook are our clients, people who are looking for social media information and friends. Google+ will now allow us to put them in circles and give them the information their looking for from us. We can send a message to all or just to select circles depending on what we wanted to post. Work on getting your customers organized so you can talk to them more effectively and give them more of the information their looking for from you.
Google Places: Another web aspect that is not fully utilized by small businesses today. It is a very important tool as pin cushions are usually displayed on the first page. With the explosion of Groupon and Living Social, do not think that Google is not going to want a piece of that pie. Do not be surprised to see Google+ get in the Groupon game and the most logical way it will be done is through Google Places.
As a small business owner, these things should all have your attention whether you end up getting involved in Google+ or not. Just as you take pride in the appearance of your store, you must do the same with your on-line presence. For most, it could be the determining factor in whether or not they choose to use your services.
- SEO and the Metrics of Success (businessinsider.com)