Google Plus Features

Use These 3 Google Plus Features to Grow Your Business

Mark Walker Small Business Advice, Social Media 3 Comments

Google Plus Features

Although Google Plus launched in June of 2011, it didn’t really pick up much steam until 2013. I found most people thought it was just a Facebook wannabe, but I’m here to tell you it’s so much more. In fact, right now I believe it’s the most important social network for most businesses and should be a focus for 2014.

It’s an essential tool for businesses when it comes to local search and it also has several features that allow business owners to connect with and learn more about their customers in unique ways.

Here’s a handful of Google Plus features I find particularly useful for business:

Google Plus Hangouts

These are essentially free video conferences that anyone with a Google Plus account can use. You can talk, chat, and screen share with up to 10 people at once. With Hangouts on Air you can livestream to an unlimited amount of people. You will also be able to go back to look at previous hangouts in case you missed something important.

Here are some ways to use Google Hangouts for your business:

  • Save travel time by holding client meetings via hangout.
  • Make client presentations.
  • Join hangouts from industry experts for team trainings.
  • Sit in on hangouts hosted by your competition to see what they’re up to. You don’t want to copy what they’re doing, but staying informed is always a good idea.
  • Host a regular Q and A session to answer questions from customers or fans.

Google Plus Communities

So you’re in the real estate business and you’re ready to talk about real estate stuff? There are Google Plus communities for that. Or maybe you’re in the food service industry. Guess what? There are communities for that. There are dozens of communities for nearly any industry or topic you can think and getting involved in a few can help your business out.

Here are some ways to use Google Communities for your business:

  • Create a public community specifically for your customers. This will be a place for questions, ideas, and recommendations.
  • Create a private community to share ideas with internal staff.
  • Get involved in industry specific communities to learn from others.
  • If you’re a small local business, join city-specific communities to get in touch with those in your area. Chances are they are potential customers or referral sources.

Google Plus Local Listings

If you are a local business that needs to be found when searched on Google, then you need to claim your local listing. Google Plus Local allows you to claim and verify your business page as a physical location so you can start seeing the benefits with local search.

Here are just a few of the benefits of Google Plus Local:

  • When a local business is claimed and verified it shows up in the map section within Google search.
  • Once claimed, a local page has the opportunity to respond to customer reviews.
  • A Google Plus Local page also has the opportunity to write reviews for vendors, suppliers, and other businesses they interact with. Here’s an article on Barnacle Reviews on Google Plus Local that explains why this is important.
  • After you have claimed your local business with Google Plus you’ll unlock analytics like keyword searches, driving direction data, and profile visits.

Have you used Google Plus for your business? What has your experience been like? Let me know if you have questions about how to get started or how to maximize its benefits.

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Comments 3

  1. Avatar for Mark Walker

    We had a rocky start with Google+ and our bakery. We started a Google+ business page when we opened and then claimed our Google Places page. Yes, they were two separate things. But our competitor was showing in the Google Local strip that appears across the top when our local keywords were searched and we weren’t. Even though they don’t have a Google+ business page.

    Google merged the Plus and Places/Local page a few months ago. We post daily on Google+ and our latest post appears in the Google Local info that appears to the right of the search results when someone searches you. We are also now in the local strip that appears across the top when our keywords are searched, and our competitor isn’t. And we are gaining on them in another set of keywords.

    If you only look at how many people have circled us, just shy of 60, you might say “why bother?” But the above shows why.

    1. Avatar for Mark Walker

      Sorting through the Google Plus Page/Places listing can be tough. Glad you got it sorted out. Hopefully you didn’t lose any reviews in the process.

      Glad to hear you’re having success with Google Plus after the merge. Thanks for sharing your story!

      1. Avatar for Mark Walker

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