Google+… Plus or Minus for Your Business?

Does this card look familiar?

It’s what Google sends you to confirm you’re for real so you can open your Google+ account.

Once you have your Google Plus company page set up you can claim your “Local” page, which depending on your business might be a real necessity now that Google is phasing out Google Places.

Question is, do you really need it? What’s the ROI on time invested to set up and keep going yet another social media account?

There’s no doubt, managing and extracting profit from social media has evaded many a business – GM being an obvious example in its pullback from Facebook.

So the notion of yet another format to interact with people on – even prospective and present customers – is a groaner.

Yet Google Plus offers some unique advantages that we simply can’t ignore.

And unless you think Google will vanish in few years, we can expect Google Plus to expand the benefits that already make it stand out above all other interactive media – facebook in particular – for business.

Some of these benefits include the fact that Google, clearly the world’s top search engine has recognized that “social is the new search”. When you look at recent updates like the now notorious Panda and Penguin, it becomes evident that Google is rewarding interactivity and engagement online. If people aren’t actively engaged with your site, it’s bye-bye page rank…

If you rely on traditional SEO for lead generation, and you aren’t actively engaging your audience, you may be shocked to see your page rank vanish. I’ve seen it happen.

So what’s it take to add Google Plus to your marketing arsenal? Here’s a quick step by step guide that will have you “Plussing for Prospects” quickly and easily:

1. Define your target audience – who do you ideally want to attract? The power of Google Plus is it lets you tap into already grouped audiences, so you start by deciding who you “avatar” is. Are you going local or global? Wide audience or micro-niche? What’s their income level? Profession? Interests? Gender? What type of content engages them? How do they prefer to interact?

2. Set up your Google Plus profile and business page, making them as complete as possible. Upload photos, video tutorials, tag line etc. and link to all your other sites – blog, Facebook page, Facebook Group, YouTube Channel, Twitter, and so on.

3. Start “streaming”, in other words, engage and interact – Now that you’ve identified your avatar, you can post juicy content they’ll engage with. Respond and listen to what people are saying, and deliver back what they’re looking for. It’s just basic good conversation tactics – like, “Be interested to be interesting…”

Finally, when rapport happens, drop in a compelling call to action – send them to a landing page with a free report, mini-course, video tutorial etc. that brings them into your world, where you can nurture a relationship and earn the right to turn them into a customer.

So, is Google+ a plus or minus for your business?

As you can see, it has unique and complimentary advantages over the other social media monster, Facebook.  But if you could only choose one, a key question to ask is, does my business offer practical solutions or escape. If the former, make sure you check out Google Plus.

And no reason not to do both if you’ve got the resources and they’re showing a real return on investment.  Whichever way you go, when you get this right, you win. After all, attracting more of your target clients gives you more choice, flexibility, profit and stability.

And that’s a plus, wouldn’t you agree?