Google+ has been a useful business tool since it was launched. Immediately, people started following relevant people and adding them to Circles. People started engaging in interesting conversations and even video hangouts. There is clearly a lot of potential for business from a platform that lets you to connect to customers like this.
This week, Google launched Google+ Pages, which gives businesses even more tools. For one, they come with Google Apps integration. For two, you now essentially have a Google+ counterpart to your Facebook Page, and Google+ already has over 40 million users.
Need to know how to set up your Google+ page, we run through in easy steps here.
Google+ also has big ramifications for your visibility in Google the search engine, which is a good reason not to ignore it. When you put the Google+ badge on your site, you can tie all of your site’s +1’s to your Pages’s +1 to give Google a stronger signal of how much people actually recommend you as a brand.
You can also tie these to your AdWords account. Google has a blog post up about connecting your page to your AdWords campaigns. Here’s an excerpt:
This week we introduced Google+ Pages, a new way to get closer to your customers online. At that time we announced that you’d be able to link your Page to your AdWords campaigns, so that all your +1s — from your Page, your website, ads and search results — get tallied together and appear as a single total. We’re happy to announce that starting today, and rolling out to all advertisers globally over the rest of the week, we’re making this functionality available with a new AdWords feature called Social Extensions.
With Social Extensions, consumers will be able to see all the recommendations your business has received, whether they are looking at an ad, a search result or your page. This means your +1’s will reach not only the 40+ million users of Google+, but all the people who come to Google every day.
Read the whole thing here.
Google also gave a presentation at ad:tech in New York, talking about leveraging Google+ for marketing. The company is aiming to address five key marketing issues with Google+:
1. Fragmented marketing
2. Recommendations that lack staying power
3. Comments, not conversations
4. Impersonal messages
5. Limited insights
"Google has never had a place on Google where you could connect with all of our customers and directly communicate with them," said Google’s Christian Oestlien. You can do this with Google+ pages. He referenced the ability to connect all of your +1′s and put these recommendations "in a lot more places."
He also talked up the Circles concept as a way for brands to address different groups of people to deliver the right message to the right people.
In terms of insights, he talked up a recently announced feature of Google+ called ripples, which allows you to track the social activity of posts. This can be very helpful for marketing your business.
Let me point you to some relevant articles to help you get better prepared to use Google+ for your business (we cover this stuff a lot at WebProNews):