Guest Post

3 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Google+ To Grow Their Audience Online by @SandySidhu

Photo Credit: Chung Ho Leung via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Chung Ho Leung via Compfight cc

by Sandy Sidhu

Google+ is the latest social media platform to get the attention in the online marketing space. However, it tends to polarize people: many love it while many love to hate it.

Why is that?

Some say that Google is late to the game and that it can’t catch up to Facebook. Others argue that it is unintuitive and is a ghost-town.

Why Google+?

I and many others are of the opinion that you cannot ignore Google+. It’s run by Google which is the largest search engine and research and statistics show that content shared on Google+ gets ranked quickly in search results. More traffic? Yes, please!

Sure, search engine optimization is great but that is not the only reason to join a social network.

Not to mention, how many other Google applications do you use? Analytics? Drive? Youtube? Gmail? Google+ integrates all these services.

Google Hangouts and Hangouts On Air

With Google Hangouts you can easily set up video calls with your team, or do coaching calls with your clients. You can invite up to 9 people on a Google Hangout. Why not just use Skype, you ask? Integration. With Google Hangouts you can easily share your screen, not to mention files in your Google Drive. Makes collaboration super easy.

With Hangouts On Air, you can broadcast your own web-show and reach a broader audience. From the comfort of your office, you can now syndicate a show across multiple platforms where people can watch from within Google, on Youtube and even on Facebook. Bonus: the content gets uploaded directly to Youtube.

Think of different ways you can use HOAs: a panel with industry leaders, or conduct live interviews or use it as a weekly “how-to” segment to grow your audience. The possibilities are endless.

List Build With Webinars

Not to mention, you can also use Google Hangouts On Air to broadcast webinars to your community and grow your list without having to pay expensive monthly fees to the typical webinar platforms.

Communities

Google+ also offers a rich community platform in which you can engage with other peers in your industry or based on interests. Like other platforms, engagement is encouraged versus link-dropping without any conversation.

Relationship Building

But my friends aren’t on Google+

Well, that may actually be a good thing! Because there is still much less noise (and opportunity for automated posts on Google+) you can actually strike up conversations and reach people you may not on other platforms. Think of it as Twitter but with the opportunity to dive deeper. And the cat photos? Those can stay on Facebook.

Next steps?

Take the time to setup a complete profile on Google+. Next start to follow people and observe how the conversations are going and find opportunities to join in. Share content on your page but also be sure to reshare the content of others. That’s the best way to engage with new people and grow your connections. Rinse and repeat 🙂

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Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 2.25.53 PMSandy Sidhu is a digital strategist and idea igniter who helps entrepreneurs break down technology into simple concepts, learn the need-to-know of marketing and the web, all while helping you create community and connection with your customers. Sandy has a weekly podcast, The Business Ignite Show, where she interviews entrepreneurs who share actionable business insights. You can connect with her at www.sandysidhumedia.com

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