Google + For Businesses: Will You Join?

Yesterday, Google + business profiles have finally arrived. A short clip about new “branded” pages shows that a business owner cares about customer loyalty and personal interaction with different types of people.

And that’s what I’m seeing showcased more in social media services for small business solutions. The promo ends with this tagline, “Business don’t make people happy. People do.” Social media can help businesses hone that human side and showcase an inviting persona. After all, clicks, Likes and +1’s if businesses don’t see the end result with real people after all their efforts.

Here are some questions that you should really think about investing time and resources on yet another social networking site:

  • Are my customers (or customers within the industry) actively using Google +?
  • What is the point of the company profile and what message do we want to convey?
  • Why would customers be interested in connecting with my company/brand?
  • How else will I promote my content on Google+ and off?
  • How will I integrate this campaign with my other online marketing efforts?

After you answer these questions, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself the final question: are you ready to create unique and relevant content for your Google+ profile? After all, that is the goal of an effective profile. Check out these popular profiles for more examples of how they’re being used: Toyota, Angry Birds, NPR and Macy’s,

Google +1 Button: To Do or Not to Do? (Part Deux)

Will you be implementing Google’s +1 button on your site? Although there are many benefits of using a the button, it’s crucial to see the downsides and how it can affect your current site:

Speed is a factor: More social media buttons means more load time. Slower load time and site speed will hurt your rankings, since it is a factor in how Google ranks your site… not to mention that impatient customers may bounce away.
Too many distractions: Adding a Google +1 button can be a distraction from your site content, especially if you already have multiple buttons. This can clutter your site and draw attention in a negative manner and away from your business.
Harm your professional image: Sometimes, when I see a site overloaded with social media buttons, it gives me the impression of being spammy or not very credible. If you focus on a few social media sites and integrate them into a clean design, it will help your site feel and look more reliable.
Right target audience?: First of all, do you even plan to devote time to your Google + profile? For now, business profiles don’t exist so if you have the button but don’t plan on being social on Google +, it may not help your site in the long run to add more clutter. For the most part, I see that many internet marketers are utilizing Google + and +1s. Like LinkedIn, this can be a good method to learn about your industry and network. But for getting retail customers for your small retail business? Maybe not so much…

Do you think Google’s +1 button is right for your business? Remember, it doesn’t hurt to experiment and see what works out. Feel free to let us know why you will or won’t be using this social media button (or any others for that matter!)

Coming Soon: Google + for Businesses

Google sure likes the aspect of exclusivity when it comes to their new products, don’t they? Well, it seems to be working well for their latest project: Google +. Invites for exclusive trial accounts for Google + quickly exceeded “capacity”, as not everyone who was invited was lucky enough to score an account. I guess we’ll just have to wait! And for business accounts, it looks like we’ll have to wait even longer! Information Week reports that business users will have to wait until later this year.

Here are a few tidbits about Google +:

- You can easily organize and share with the different people in your life by placing them in different Circles
– Concerned about privacy? You should know that Google intends to make all Profiles public and searchable.
– Confused about the new vocab? Facebook has Likes and Google + will use Google + 1.
– If you’re interested in group video chat, Google Hangouts will be your new favorite thing!

What do you think about Google + and are you excited about it or do you think it’s just another social platform?
Make sure to check out Social Media Examiner’s in-depth guide to using Google +.