Making a case for Google+

For many small business owners, staying on top of social media can be challenging at times so the thought of adding one more social network to the mix may seem like a daunting task. However, the benefits of having a Google+ business page and community may outweigh the drawbacks of having to set one up (which really isn’t that hard anyway).

Google+ is owned by Google, so what happens on G+ can actually impact your standing in search engine ranking and improve your search engine optimization (SEO). The reason for this is that Google gives a great deal of weight to the social behaviors and recommendations from your connections on Google+, especially at the local level.  In fact, Google treats Google+ pages as regular sites. You can check this out yourself by doing a search and see what pages come up. Often, information from G+ pages is ranked higher than other, non-Google sites.

As a small business, having a Google+ Business page and working to increase your connections (circles), by sharing reviews, posting YouTube video, images and posts, you can actually increase your visibility in search results. Another bonus is that by analyzing those in your circles, Google will be able gather more and more targeted information about what your customers are looking for. Google will incorporate recommended and shared sites from people you are connected to on G+, which can go a long way in ensuring that their friends and circles will be more likely to find your business in a search.

For your customer, this is a good thing. It means that they may actually be presented with search results that not only are they more interested in but with endorsements from trusted friends and colleagues who have vouched for the business/product/place etc. 

Let’s look at it this way.  Say you do a search for the best local restaurant.  In your search results, you see that your friend has shared a great review of the restaurant and vouches for the restaurant’s cleanliness. Can you think of better validation than the endorsement from a trusted friend? 

By creating a page and reaching out to other G+ pages to increase visibility and connections, you will not only help establish yourself in the local community where you do business but you can engage with other, complementary businesses to become a local referral source. Using reviews, +1’s and discussions on group pages, you will be able to continue to build your community, and your brand.

So, what are you waiting for? Go claim your spot on Google+! We’d love to connect with you. We could even Hangout!

What's in a number? Why your follower count doesn't matter.

You’re bombarded with numbers everywhere you go in social media:

  • How many friends do you have?
  • How many people like your page?
  • How many circles are you in?
  • How many lists are you on?

Do these numbers matter?

Yes and no.

As a business, you want to build up a quality following. That means developing strategies that attract people who are interested in what you have to offer. Having a lot of people interested in what you do and say is a good thing.

But if you look at number alone, it really isn’t an indicator of your success in social media because follower numbers are inherently gamable (you can buy them and you can get high numbers of people that will never look at your content or engage with you).

It’s quality over quantity.

Do you have 50 followers? 500? 5000?

How many of those followers are actively engaged in conversation with your business, about your business or developing a relationship with you that could lead to a business relationship?

If you have 50 engaged and interested followers, that is far more valuable than 50,000 that barely know your account exists because they followed to increase their own numbers.

Don’t stop working on the numbers.

Although high numbers don’t necessarily mean a lot, low numbers can make people think you aren’t very established.

Working to steadily increase your number of engaged and quality followers, be it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or the number of people signed up to your newsletter, should continue to be a focus of your social media strategy. One of our best suggestions for doing this is to ask and remind on a regular basis.

Do you worry about the numbers?

And before you go, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletter.  We’re always working on the numbers too.