With so many social media networks now available, you need more than one good reason to get started on yet another site. Google+ is one of the most important sites nowadays, and not just because it receives more than 100 million visits per month. It's also valuable for who you'll find on the site. Google+ is highly populated and visited by people who describe themselves as "decision makers." That includes people in IT, self-employed folks, and yes, even company owners and managers.
Like any site though, you'll need to work to get the attention of this audience, since their feed — just like Facebook and Twitter — is constantly being updated. Follow these six advantageous practices for businesses on Google+ and you'll be on the right track!
Set up Authorship
This is particularly important if your company website runs a blog. By setting up Google+ authorship and linking your page to your company email address, Google will not only personalise your followers' Google search results, but they'll start seeing you as an authority. That means your company page will fare better in the search rankings.
Use Hashtags Every Time
While Google+ is already set up to pull out what it deems the most important word from your post and automatically hashtag it, you can take this a step further. Every time you update your page, add hashtags, or keywords that someone may use to search for your company, at the end of your post. Not only can people find you through that hashtag while they're on Google+, these hashtags are also listed in Google searches.
Manage the Page as Your Business, Not as Yourself
When you set-up your company page, you often first set up your own personal Google+ page that's linked to a Gmail account. Once your personal page is set up, create a company page that's separate from your personal one. This way you can keep your personal and professional pages separate. You can also view your stats for your company page on your dashboard. Just make sure you're on the correct page when you log in!
Participate in Your Community
A wonderful feature of Google+ is the way you can interact with other people who share your interests, or work in the industry that you do. For example, if you're a travel agency, you can join a community like "travel around the world," share photos of places you send your clients, and ask questions of the community, like what kind of tours they like to do while overseas.
In addition to participating on community pages, start a hangout. Think of it as an online party with you as host. You can use this time to answer questions about your company and your offerings, or simply to teach people about your industry.
Similar to other review sites, like Yelp, Google+ gives users the ability to review a company, both with stars as well as a space to describe their experience with you. While this functionality can be turned off, it's not recommended for businesses. That's because, like so many features on Google+, the reviews can be seen in Google results. It also lends some credibility to your company. But how do you go about getting reviews? Start including a link to your "about" page — where reviews are housed on Google+ — in any email blasts that you send out to your clients.
Use Various Mediums
Like any social media site, diversifying what you post, and when you post, makes a difference. People don't want to see text update after text update. Rather, stick with updates that make your page more personal, entertaining and informative. GIFs and photos work wonderfully on Google+, as do infographics.
Some Google+ pages, such as this one about water heaters Camillus, NY, even utilise cartoons. Even more importantly, their cartoon of Santa attempting to fix the sink and then calling a plumber was both timely and relevant to their brand. Stick with those two keys — timeliness and brand relevance — and you'll be golden.
Google+ offers an amazing array of functionality for users, both businesses and individuals alike. By starting with the functionality above, you'll be able to create a niche for yourself while also helping your company in the search rankings, just what any good social media should do.