What Great Google+ Pages Are Made Of: A Quick Guide for Brands
Take a look at this helpful guide for making the most out of your brand’s Google+ Page.
While Google+ may seem like a straightforward social media site, there are many components to it that can make creating and optimizing a brand page pretty overwhelming. Since Google+ is directly related to search engine chief, Google, it actually makes it a completely different breed of social. Updates and changes happen more frequently and keeping up with those updates and changes a little bit more critical for any business, but especially those of the local variety.
Before we begin optimizing your Google+ page for your business, it’s important that you’ve set up a brand page. This article will walk you through each step in the setup process. Once the page is filled out, follow this checklist as a guide for quality control on your brand’s Google+ Page.
1. Direct Connect Features
The Direct Connect feature allows you to tag people and companies in your posts. This works very similarly to tags in Facebook where the tagged person or company would receive a notification letting them know that your post will display on their page. This opens up new opportunities to reach new audiences and it’s a great way to give credit when credit is due to those you’re connected with.
To use the Direct Connect feature, just add a “+” in front of the person or company you’re mentioning. For example, if you wanted to mention the Houston Chronicle, you would type “+Houston Chronicle.” The Houston Chronicle’s Google+ page should display in a dropdown box. Make sure you choose verified Google+ pages as much as possible to avoid tagging spammy pages.
Similar to the Direct Connect Feature, a business has the ability to increase their page’s reach by including relevant hashtags in posts. Google already automatically includes hashtags it sees fit for key/trending topics, but you can always manually add more.
Trendy hashtags will automatically populate in a drop down box when a “#” is typed into the post.
3. Photos and Videos
Cover photos are a must for brand pages, but don’t just stop there! Google+ allows page managers to upload photos and videos to a page and tag any relevant people and companies. Coca Cola does a great job with posting Scrapbook photos on Google+.
4. Google Circles
Every business has their set of target audiences. The key to sharing content that people find relevant is by breaking those target audiences into different circles. Google+ makes it easy to segment your audience and share relevant information to each. For example, if a business wanted to target a younger, millennial demographic, they could share a piece of content that only that younger demographic would see. If age difference isn’t a focus, businesses can also target by location as well. To access this feature, go to “People” link in the dropdown box on the left side.
5. Trending Topics
Trending Topics is a way to stay proactive and keep your brand relevant to current and real-time events. Explore what’s happening by looking at hot topics and incorporate or share these topics to stay active and involved in the online conversation.
6. Google Hangouts
Perhaps one of the biggest features of Google+ is Google+ Hangouts. This feature is similar to Skype into that it uses video to communicate to a contact or audience. The best part is you can add up to 10 people on a hangout session completely for free. This makes Google+ hangouts great for meetings and conferences at work (especially if you have remote workers). Hangouts provide you the opportunity to hold special guests Q&A sessions and webinars. This is a powerful tool to increase credibility and trust with your audiences. While Google+ only allows for up to 10 people per session, you can record hangouts to share in a blog post to a mass audience later on.
Google+ and Google Local
Optimizing your brand’s Google+ page has become ever more essential since Google+’s recent integration with Google local search. Now local listings are connected with Google+ pages and can all managed and monitored from one single dashboard known as Google for Business http://www.google.com/intl/ee/+/business/