Take a suite of applications including email, calendar, browser, video conferencing and much more; add a powerful social media platform that can do everything other platforms can do and more; and then mix in the most powerful search engine in the world; mix it all together and you’ve got a more than compelling reason to add Google+ to your B2B marketing mix.
Surprisingly, most companies do not. Which brings me to Step 4 of the 10 steps.
Step 4 – Do Not Ignore Google+ in your B2B Marketing
The reason B2B companies should/must have a presence on Google+ can be summarized in 6 letters: S-E-A-R-C-H.
Google search determines the winners and losers in our market. That is because, the perfect customer choices to search for information far ahead of calling or emailing for more information. So if your B2B company is not appearing in the prospect’s search results – you’re not going to be considered by them. It’s just that simple. You could be losing opportunities by the dozens and not even know about it.
Google+ indexes your content immediately
I don’t know about you, but I love instant gratification when I’ve worked to create good content. I love to see that once I hit ‘Publish’ and the article is shared – that people start clicking through to read. But B2B content has to be found in order to be read. And that content has to be indexed in order to be found. Google+ will do that.
As you watch the video, think about what this means for the website and blog content you link to your Google+ account.
Once you have your Google+ account set up, go through the necessary steps to set up Google Authorship. I have set up Authorship, and I did a quick search on ‘5 Ways to Own the First Page.’ As you can see in the screen capture below, my listing stands out from the listings above and below because Google has added my headshot to the listing.
Here are directions for Google Authorship.
Learned it the hard way – tips for setting up Google+ account and profile
My recommendation is that when you go to set up your Google+ account that you have some things prepared before hand.
The dimensions for the cover photo are 480 pixels wide and 270 pixels tall. Anything smaller than that will be rejected by the set up wizard. You can, however, upload a large photo which the wizard will then let you pick a section of the picture to fit the 480×270 space. There are also some default backgrounds that you can use from Google+
The dimensions for your profile pictures are 250 pixels by 250 pixels and anything smaller than that will be rejected. You can put in a larger photo file, but it may be hard to crop. My advice is to have your graphics person, or a friend with Photoshop, size your photo to the 250×250 dimensions.
It will help to have a list of people you know to be on Google+ ready to ‘circle’ when you set up your account. Trying to add people on the fly when you’re setting up account can be frustrating. You may also connect to your Gmail account to download all the contacts you have there – but create a circle called “Gmail” and later you can go through and move your contacts into more appropriate circles (e.g. family, friends, business associates, vendors, etc.)
One of the features that I love about Google+ is ‘Circles.’ Circles are a way to categorize your contacts. You might have a circle that includes only media contacts, another that includes family members, another that includes customers, another that is comprised of committee members, etc.
Circles are powerful because you can post an update specific to a circle. So if you are having an open house for your daughter’s graduation, you could post a Google+ update and select your family circle as the only recipients of the update and not bother your business contacts with the information.
You can also limit your stream to a particular circle. If you want all updates from all contacts to be visible – you can do that. But if you want to be more focused or selective, you may limit the updates that are visible to a single circle. Simply click on the circles titles listed across the top menu bar.
You can invite individual people, a group of people, or a circle of contacts to a Google+ Hangout (video conferencing). The service is free and remarkably reliable.
This has been a very limited introduction to Google+. My intent was to help you get started (with minimal frustration) so that you can begin to enjoy the benefit that Google+ brings to your online presence. There is much, much more to it.