Guest Post by Howie Goldfarb
I have read a few “How to use Google Plus for Business” posts and presentations. They all focus on search results and the power of Google.
This is true.
While I do not have a Facebook Page, my Google Plus result comes up third in search:
I did a test for Chobani and Pepsi. I didn’t get the same results, but Facebook did not rank high for either. Chobani was not on the first page, and Pepsi’s Twitter link actually trumped Facebook. But it is safe to say Google Plus will rank for you if you have enough content.
Next of note is Google Places. They are integrating your location, Google Maps and the Google Places page to rank local results first.
Note that while the Pepsi main site ranked first, the plant local to me showed up with an address and map.
Next of note is probably less impactful on your business, but very noteworthy to me.
If you connect with someone who writes in a foreign language, Google Plus now gives you an option to translate the page.
The next two tips are what separates Google Plus from a Facebook Page:
1. You can link your posts.
Facebook does not allow this. Click the little upper right corner arrow, and you can link the post and place that URL anywhere allowing you to drive traffic to your Google Plus page. Facebook allows you to link photos but not URLs.
I have debated whether or not to link the blog posts that I share on Twitter via Google Plus. While it might add followers, my concern is people might have an issue with having to click twice to get to the content.
On the positive side, the Google Plus conversation engine is very powerful and much better than Facebook’s, in my opinion.
2. Selling and marketing together
A while back, I wrote a guest post on Spin Sucks about how Twitter is for selling and Facebook for marketing.
Well Google Plus is for selling and marketing. It combines the passive “come to my page” of Facebook with the “call out” of Twitter. While you, as a business, cannot follow anyone who isn’t following you first, you can call them out in the comments section of the post.
This enables you to actually initiate contact with other Google users, something Facebook does not allow you to do except in response to a person who posts on your wall first.
I have been doing some testing, and for some reason not everyone in Google Plus comes up, but many do.
The only thing missing is that while a Google Plus user can call out your brand on their own page, there is no “Wall” or way of posting to the page right now. That said, Google Plus can be a pretty powerful tool for you as a business, if you use it well.
What do you think? Have you been using Google Plus smartly? What tips do you have?
Howie Goldfarb is Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Strategy at Web Choice Consulting, a full service integrated marketing and Internet agency. He had a 14-year career in direct B2B industrial sales before deciding to lighten up his dreary work life and move into advertising/marketing. He has a CFO’s view of marketing, bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. He currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InHzzvk6F5Q. Easy and quick
@mdbarber Thanks so much for sharing @skypulsemedia post on Google Plus.
@socialcatalysts @nealschaffer @2cre8 @code8 @ruhanirabin Thanks so much for sharing @skypulsemedia guest post on Google Plus!
@shonali welcome :)
@allie_cooper Thanks for the Tweet!
So… my problem is that like @TheJackB I am just too strapped to spend much time on G+. I don’t even spend that much time on Twitter & FB these days, and as to blog commenting, it’s woefully down.
I do like the conversational aspect of G+, since I think that is much better than that of Facebook… such as being able to tag anyone (that’s correct, isn’t it) and not just your friends/people you’re connected to.
Re: #1, though – I can link my posts on Facebook (or they are linked to if I share the URL)… so I’m confused about that…?
@Shonali @TheJackB I can not find a way to take a link I uploaded on facebook and get a URL from it that takes it to facebook. Can I get some help? I just checked again! cc @KenMueller
@HowieSPM @Shonali @TheJackB You have to isolate the post on it’s own apart from the wall, and it will give you the distinct URL for the item.
@KenMueller @Shonali @TheJackB Just like photos etc. I see the light now. Thanks Ken!
Nice tips Howie, thanks for sharing!!
@ericamallison thank you Erica!
@skypulsemedia you are welcome!
@jocmbarnett thanks for the RT!
Well of course I had to come and comment on this….I just did some checking and in terms of traffic coming to my site, Facebook is way ahead of G+. In fact, the past week, Pinterest is outperforming G+. In terms of search rankings, Facebook comes up 2nd or 3rd for me, and G+ doesn’t even show up on the first page. I think what it comes down to, like any optimization, is how you use it. I spend more time on creating content on FB than I do G+, and it gets more traffic.
And actually, you CAN share links to individual Facebook posts. I’ve done it, and just tested it again. It can be done. Not as simple as it is with G+, but it can be done fairly easily. My thought though, is, why bother? I have no interest in sharing those links from FB or G+ or any other. The goal of those, or any other, is to drive traffic to my blog/site. So I’m merely sharing there to get that traffic. If I want to share a link on Twitter, I’ll share the actual post URL, not the URL of where I shared on either FB or Google or Pinterest, etc.
There. I guess I’ve had my say. Have at it, Mr. Howie!
@KenMueller I guess it comes down to what you are doing on Facebook,. I link blogposts on a client page that are not my clients. I would prefer to link that post on FB to Twitter vs a separate posting. When I post pictures or fliers on Facebook I can link those easily to Twitter bringing people to the FB page. So much easier for G+.
I do like the conversation engine better on G+ much better it is much like Livefyre,.
As for traffic I get way more traffic from Google than anything. @dannybrown did a post on this recently and shared his sources and Google was something like 75-80 percent. And yes content drives many things.
My purpose here was not to declare G+ brand pages better than FB but that they are different especially when combined with search for a storefront with the Google places/latitude integration. I still view Facebook as where we will go to chat and Google where we go to buy and live.
@HowieSPM @KenMueller @dannybrown G+ is great for conversations and I have used it quite successfully.
My biggest complaint is centered around having limited time and the challenges it presents. I am conducting a routine evaluation to try and determine which offers me the biggest bang for my buck.
@brasonja @Clarity4theBoss ty for the RTS
@skypulsemedia You’re welcome!
@skypulsemedia – You’re Welcome. I hope your Tuesday is going great.
I think I’m still testing the Google+ business pages. I have one, but I haven’t had the time to spend on it or my Google+ profile lately. I do try to differentiate the content between the page and the profile, which isn’t all that different from my approach to Facebook. I only share the same content multiple times if it’s really good content, but I still try to change how I present it.
And, skypulsemedia , I bring you bacon, but it’s of the invisible variety.
@Erin F. Hi Erin! I just was intrigued with some of the new developments and some of the differences with Google. They have the components to really crush Facebook for commerce and I think they will. People don’t want to shop on Facebook or Search etc with Brands. More because of the limitations of Brand pages even if apps are added. Google integrates the existing web while Facebook is trying to replace the web.
And I loved the translate feature but no piglatin!
@clarity4theboss @soulati Thanks so much for sharing @skypulsemedia post!
@shonali @Soulati @skypulsemedia – You’re Welcome :) Hope you’re having a great Tuesday.