Google+ is the social network created and powered by Google-the most influential search engine around. When Google updates its algorithms, marketers, content writers and all companies with a website should update their content and SEO strategies on the double. Google+ should certainly be included in your social media marketing, as it is now the second most popular social network after Facebook. Google+ is all the more important because of its increasing influence on Google search results. Social signals, like +1s, and AuthorRank are seriously changing the marketing landscape and the way businesses should approach social media. It is critical to promote your company and your original content on Google+.
Google+ allows companies to create pages and develop relationships with prospects and clients on multiple levels. Individuals can add a company to a specific Google+ circle, share a Google+ page with their network and interact with the content posted on a business page. Users can +1-similar to "liking" something on Facebook-the updates you publish, leave comments and tag your company in photos. The Hangouts feature enables companies to engage prospects and clients through video conference calls. Streamlined video chat distinguishes Google+ from other social media platforms. Video conferences are a great way to build rapport with prospects, highlight the expertise and thought leadership of your company and give your brand a human touch.
10 Important Google+ Facts
Here are some interesting and useful facts about Google+ from Magdalena Georgieva of HubSpot:
1. Companies cannot add people to circles until they mention or add their page.
2. The default setting for content on business pages is public.
3. Pages can be created for a wide variety of entities, such as businesses, schools and non-profit organizations, while profiles are exclusively for individuals.
4. Google+ pages automatically unfollow you, if you remove them from your circles.
5. Pages feature a +1 button.
6. Pages cannot +1 other pages or online content.
7. Pages do not receive notifications via email, text or the Google bar.
8. Pages do not feature the option of sharing with "extended circles."
9. Local pages have special fields, which help people find the physical location of a business.
10. Google+ pages cannot mention you unless you are already in each other's circles.
5 Ways to Amplify Google+ Lead Generation
1. The +1 Button
Embed the +1 button on your website and company blog. According to HubSpot, websites with +1 buttons get 3.5 times more visits on their Google+ pages. Social sharing buttons make it quick and easy for someone to share your content on social networks. Social sharing buttons also function as CTAs on your blog-reminding readers that their online networks of friends and colleagues may be interested in your content as well.
2. Google Authorship and AuthorRank
Enable Google Authorship to have your reputation and influence as a content creator taken into account in Google search results via AuthorRank, which is shaking up inbound marketing and SEO in a big way. AuthorRank utilizes social signals to make search engine results smarter-taking into account the social influence of content and weeding out spam and unoriginal content from top search rankings. Properly link all your relevant content from across the internet to your Google+ page, and you could have your face showing up next to your content in Google search results.
To fare well under Google AuthorRank, you must be active on Google+. Each time someone gives your content a +1, it gets a stamp of approval-increasing its reach and magnifying your opportunities for higher rates of traffic and lead generation. Follow these steps to get started:
Edit your Google+ business page and personal profile. Inform Google that you are an author for the websites that feature your content by adding their URLs to the "Contributor to" section.
Create links from your content to your Google+ page. This step is easy, if you have email addresses on the same domains as the websites you added to the "Contributor to" section. Visit the Google Plus Authorship page to enter your email addresses. If this is not an option for you, you must add the following HTML code to the text of all your original content: <a href="[your profile URL]?rel=author">Google</a>.
Test your content to verify that your Authorship set-up was successful by entering one of your article's URLs into Google's Structured Data Testing Tool. Your Google+ profile photo, byline and "More by [your profile name]" should show up in the sample search results.
3. Direct Connect
Set up Direct Connect so that anyone looking for your Google+ page can find it simply by doing a Google.com search for "+ your company."
4. Recommended Links
Feature your best content in your recommended links under the "About" tab of your Google+ page. Recommended links are prime real estate on Google+, so do not miss out on this lead generation opportunity.
5. Promotion and Cross-Channel Social Strategy
Promote your business page on your website, your blog and on all your other social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Share your blog and premium content on Google+, and do not forget to ask your followers to share it too.
Create a robust Google+ page for your business-featuring your main content topics in the introduction. Work to increase your influence and credibility on Google+. Be genuinely engaged and participate on the social network on a frequent basis. Share relevant, high-quality content, and build relationships with industry influencers and thought leaders. Social lead generation requires commitment, strategy, genuine engagement and excellent content creation.