Businesses that are interested in taking advantage of all that Google+ has to offer will be glad to learn that the social networking site is now available to businesses. After its initial launch a couple months ago, Google+ was strictly off limits to businesses. In fact, some profiles were banned after Google administrators determined they were being used for business rather than for “personal use only.” Thanks to the recent lift on this ban, however, Google+ is now open to businesses.
While some business owners may think there is no point to jumping on board another social networking site, Google+ has much to offer to a business. First, whether we like it or not, social networking is here to stay. Therefore, it is in the best interest of any business owner to take full advantage of the networking sites that are available. Not only do social networking sites make it easier to connect with customers, they also aid with performing market research, gaining new customers and creating a brand image. Furthermore, as would be expected from any product launched by Google, Google+ offers plenty of tools that can be quite handy to the business owner. Here’s a look at some of the tools and how you can use them for your business:
- Circles – makes it possible to group your followers into smaller audiences according to specific characteristics or traits, which then allows you to share messages with just a specific group of people.
- +1 Button – allows users to recommend your page directly to their friends.
- Google+ Badge – allows users to add your page to their circles and to start receiving your updates without needing to leave your main website
Google is also working on a way for businesses to link their Google+ Page to their AdWords campaign. In this way, all of your +1s will show with your brand wherever it appears, including in ads, in searches and on your website. For those who are using AdWords Express from a Google Places account, ads can be easily linked to the Google+ Page by simply selecting the appropriate option and entering the URL of the Google+ Page into the appropriate field.
Another feature that Google+ has added for businesses is the Direct Connect feature. With this feature, someone can simply put a “+” before the name of your business or organization when performing a Google search. This will automatically redirect the user to your Google+ Page. While this feature will not work for everyone, it is a nice touch for those businesses for which it works.
Already, a number of companies have created a Google+ page to help them connect with their customers. Some of these include Pepsi, Good Morning America, Macy’s and even the Dallas Cowboys. If you are ready to create a business page for Google+, visit plus.google.com/pages/ create to get started.
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