How 3 Small Businesses Succeed at Google+

Brian Honigman
Brian Honigman Marketing Consultant, Freelance Writer & Professional Speaker, Honigman Media LLC

Posted on March 28th 2012

How 3 Small Businesses Succeed at Google+

Whether Google+ is right for most businesses has yet to be seen, infact even a former Googler has questioned Google's focus on making Google+ a success. Nevertheless, some businesses have made outstanding progress using Google+, especially these three small businesses in particular. Learn what they're are doing right and apply it to fit the social plan of your small business.

The Pablove Foundation

The Pablove Foundation's mission is to fund pediatric cancer research and treatment, as well as educate and empower cancer families by improving the quality of life for children living with cancer. The foundation has seen extensive success on Google+ far greater than many big name companies you would come to expect being influential on any social platform. What are they doing on Google+ to succeed?

  • Sharing photos from community events - Highlighting workshops, marathons and other Pablove events in photos on their Google+ page has proven to be one of the most successful ways of engaging their audience. The photos they share give their community an insiders look into how the foundation is helping children deal with living with cancer and how they too can join in with a donation of time, companionship or money.

Pablove Foundation Photos

  • Mentioning newsworthy content - Pablove is luckily connected with many partnerships that help them spread the news of their mission. Making sure to mention these newsworthy events and activities is important for helping grow their community past its existing reach, one example of this is Pablove's post mentioning  one of the members of the band Maroon 5  taking part in their team for an upcoming marathon. By tagging the corresponding Google+ pages for both the magazine covering this news and Maroon 5, they're helping to extend their reach across the audiences of all three pages by giving the other two pages a notification of this posting, which makes it much likely for these pages to share the news as well.

Pablove Foundation Maroon 5

King Arthur Flour

King Arthur Flour is America's oldest flour company. Their passion is to share the joy of baking and inspires bakers worldwide. For being a small business, they've seen unprecedented success across Facebook, Twitter and now on Google+ as well.

What are they doing on Google+ to succeed?

  • Posting photos of what they do best, food - King Arthur Flour is tapping into what everyone loves, which is eating. Luckily their product offerings cater to most people, therefore it's ideal for them to share photos of their food treats as opposed to a regular text update. What's more likely to get an audience member to engage with your page? A posting of a chocolate cake photo or a text post about chocolate cake? The photo will always, always garner more engagement, stick with visuals whenever possible.

King Arthur Flour Cake

  • Keeping everything personalized at all times - PJ Hamel, King Arthur Flour's resident writer, maintains their Google+ page and makes sure to give it a personal touch with every single post, comment or interaction. Besides, completing hangouts with their audience on how to cook certain dishes with PJH, they strive to keep the vibe friendly and personal no matter what. Every post is signed in italics with PJH, helping to continue the light mood and the understanding that you're interacting with people on this page and not a faceless company.

Best Made Company

This company is a group of outdoor enthusiasts that specialize in designing and handcrafting wilderness supplies. Best Made Company has a passion for inspiring people to get outside and use their hands, which is clearly seen on their Google+ page. What are they doing on Google+ to succeed?

  • Sharing inspiring videos about the outdoors from others - Best Made Company hasn't shared much of their own video content, but it's no matter. Throughout their feed they've shared beautiful videos found on YouTube and Vimeo covering everything from Yosemite National Park to Smoke Jumper training for airborne fire fighting. They're trying to highlight the magnificence they see in the outdoors and share in an entertaining way with their audience.

Best Made Company Video

  • Using high quality images to share what you do - Having images of your products and services is a wonderful tool for sharing who your company is, but having high quality images of your most important product offerings is ideal. Google+ and many other prominent social networks today are centered around images and are specifically suited to share quality imagery. Best Made Company has been utilizing clear, clean, simple and stunning photos of their unique products on their Google+ page from the beginning. Google+ is a very visual platform, make use of it as Best Made Company has successfully.

Best Made Company Photos

Key Takeaways for Small Business Success on Google+

  • Sharing photos from your community events
  • Mentioning newsworthy content of relevance to Google+ audience
  • Posting photos of what you do best with a universal appeal
  • Keep everything personalized at all times
  • Share inspiring video and content  from others on Google+
  • Using high quality images to share what you do when possible

What strategies has your small business found successful on Google+? Have you used any of the above techniques above for your page? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Brian Honigman is the Social Media Account Manager at LunaMetrics, a Google Analytics certified partner that also specializes in social media, search engine optimization and PPC. You can follow him on Twitter @Brian_Honigman or @LunaMetrics.

Brian Honigman

Brian Honigman

Marketing Consultant, Freelance Writer & Professional Speaker, Honigman Media LLC

Brian Honigman is a marketing consultantfreelance writer and a professional speaker focused on strengthening relationships with brands, startups and their customers. He is also an active contributor to a number of digital marketing publications like the Huffington PostMashable, the Next Web, Entepreneur and others. Follow him on Twitter at @BrianHonigman and on Google+.

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Comments

Mobila Bucuresti
Posted on March 29th 2012 at 9:39AM

I’ll be less obtuse. What Google has done, remarkably, is to transfer all the worst qualities of Facebook to themselves while managing to retain almost none of the good ones. They were behind the scenes.

Brian Honigman
Posted on March 29th 2012 at 4:13PM

Thanks for the feedback. It's still yet to be seen if Google+ will have the same shelf life as other social networks have, but till then we can only look to see how we can best represent our businesses there if applicable. I agree that Google+ has made some mistakes with the roll out of this social network but again, time will tell how this will affect its user base.

JenLovisa
Posted on March 29th 2012 at 11:43AM

Fantastic post Brian!!

 

Brian Honigman
Posted on March 29th 2012 at 4:08PM

You're welcome Jen, thanks for reading!

Reed Pankratz
Posted on March 29th 2012 at 2:48PM

Brian,

Great post. It is good to see examples of small business choosing a strategy that makes sense for them and their consumers. As many (or perhaps all) of us are, I am a huge advocate. To me, this means that I support the proper use of social media to help people and companies succeed. Consequently, it would make sense that, as an advocate, I do not support the improper use of social media. I do not believe that all social media is good for all businesses. 

Similar to you, I wrote about 3 small businesses in my area that have either no social media presence, a moderate social media presence and a strong social media presence and how they are using that strategy effectively for their business. You can find that here --> http://reedpankratz.com/2012/03/06/haircuts-beer-aggieville-and-social-m...

Thanks for sharing this, I always love a good example of how social media can work for small business!

Reed Pankratz

www.reedpankratz.com

Brian Honigman
Posted on March 29th 2012 at 4:08PM

Hello Reed, thanks for reading! Excellent point that many often glaze over simply because they feel like they should have an active presence on every social media platform, which is not the case. Evaluating your business and determining which social platforms suit it best is a vital way to ensure success on one of these platforms, like Google+. 

I like your article comparing three different businesses and how they should/do use social. Thanks again for sharing and connecting, looking forward to future chats.

Jay Pinkert
Posted on March 30th 2012 at 3:30AM

At $81.1 million in annual revenue (2010), how is King Arthur Flour considered a small business?

In fact, in 2009 it was named one of the top five large companies to work for in Vermont.

While that doesn't diminish what they've accomplished with Google+, their experience is of little practical use to actual small business who don't have full-time social media professionals on staff.