If you own a local business, you, of all people absolutely must get your arms around Google+. Just a few days ago, Google Places changed to Google+ pages – did you catch that? This means, if you want your local biz to stay visible on Google, you’ve gotta get into Google+. Period.
If you’re tempted to throw your computer off a cliff right now and say some words you probably should not say, never fear…help is here! <insert superhero music> la ta ta tahhhh…enter, moi.
To get started, listen to the call I did with Elaine Lindsay, who I like to refer to as, “Google+ Guru of the Universe.” She will teach you how to use Google+ for small business. Then, jump in and start to make things happen. I’m a fan of making things simple and easy to digest, so instead of trying to tackle everything on this list in one sitting, I encourage you to tackle individual steps every day. Here are 9 steps to consider:
- Get a Google account that you’ll use ONLY for business purposes: http://bit.ly/HkMfDH. Remember, the purpose of these action steps is to get you moving forward in your marketing in 15 minutes or less each day. Don’t get distracted by looking at all of the shiny objects, just get your account and then, get back to work.
- Before you go any further with setting up G+, create your strategy. Do as follows: 1) identify your purpose for being on the platform 2) Set realistic, measurable and time-sensitive goals that correlate with your purpose. Example: “I am engaging on G+ because I want to build credibility. I will do this by posting a strategic, insightful tip on my business page every day for the next 30 days.”
- Write your “about” page for Google+. Be sure to fill it out completely and include your keywords and links, this is Google after all!
- Create 5 circles in 15 minutes or less. Here are the names: prospects, clients, industry leaders, G+ experts and finally, personal. To do this, click on the small icon on the top, left side of your screen that looks like 2 Olympic circles. If you hover over it, it will say “circles.” Next, click on the orange “create circle” box on the left. Give it a name and hit save. That’s it.
- Add 10+ people to the circles of your choice in 15 minutes or less. Since these action tips are focused on your biz, add to any of the circles I suggested, except personal. You can find some relevant business connections to add by visiting: http://www.RecommendedUsers.com/ or https://plus.google.com/u/0/getstarted/follow
- Learn how to use hashtags on this platform and why: http://bit.ly/Izz1im
- Connect your Gmail, Yahoo or Live email account, import your business-related contacts and add them to your circles. If your contacts aren’t on G+, an invitation will be triggered. Then go back to the 3 people you really want to build relationships with and post something thoughtful in front of them.
- Visit Gplus.to to claim your G+ username. Mine is gplus.to/impressionsmktg. Use the same name you use on your FB biz page, Twitter, etc. so that it’s easy for you to remember & easy for people to find you.
- Watch this video to learn how to notify people of a specific post. You need to be careful not to abuse this feature, but if you use it wisely, you can get the right content, in front of the right people…and very good things can happen when you do that! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg2yUGUh9NY&feature=share
There certainly is a lot more to Google+ than I’ve been able to share in this post, but this is at the very least, a good start for you. As you learn how to use the platform, please post comments with additional tips.