What Does A Google+ Branded Business Page Mean For Your Business?
Ever since Google unveiled Google+ as its counter to Facebook, business owners worldwide have been buzzing about what it means for them. Recently, Google made some huge design changes to their platform and again the buzz started. Do I need a business page on Google+? What should I do? What does this mean to my business?
With the new changes, Google reinforced the reality that that they are serious about building a huge social media network.
I've been doing some exploring of my own, and one thing is clear: Google for businesses now means much more than search engine optimization and places! There's a whole lot to discover, but with the opportunity to create a real Google business page through Google+ comes a lot of new techniques for connecting with our clients and prospects.
What's up with the new Google for businesses? Let's talk about that…
A Google Business Page Means New Opportunities To Connect
The idea behind the Google business page is that it acts a lot like business pages already found on Facebook. It's a place for you to explain what your business is all about. You can talk about what you do and how you do it. You can talk about your local area, and how your local business enriches that area. I like to think of your Google business page (and Facebook page, et cetera) as a little mini-website. Condense the most important stuff from your regular website, and that's exactly what you should be posting on your Google business page.
When you connect to Google for businesses and create your first page, you gain access to the entire network of people currently using Google+. When you consider how many users Google+ has after only a few months, and how it's continued to grow since then, that's a huge number of potential new customers! In all likelihood, many of them haven't heard of your business before, and at least a few of them will be using Google for businesses to find a company that does exactly what you do. When you create your Google business page, you'll be able to reach these people and start a conversation with them.
Why Can't I Just Stick With My Current Facebook Business Page?
It's certainly tempting not to bother with a Google business page when you already have one on Facebook. Who has time to set up a duplicate, right? Well, they're not really duplicates – trust me, you need and want to have both. Having a Google business page introduces a new way to connect with your potential client base: a 10 person video chat option called "Hangouts." Although 10 people doesn't seem like much, if you're able to record a stream and broadcast it later, or arrange a larger chat if needed (although that requires working directly with Google, at least for the moment) it can be a pretty powerful tool. There are plans to expand this feature of Google for businesses in the future, so stay tuned!
In addition, Google for businesses gives you the opportunity to connect with new users and entire groups of people who might not otherwise have found you. Not everyone who uses Google for businesses is going to use to use Facebook as well. By having a presence on both, you're available to the widest possible audience – and that can only be a good thing!
In time, we'll learn more about how to use Google for businesses. Google will keep adding features and evolving to meet the specific needs of businesses, so stay tuned for my tips on how to make the most of your Google business page!