There are strong indications that Google Plus will become a powerful marketing tool for business, but there’s a problem: the service is not yet allowing businesses to create profiles. So what to do? Should this stop you from using it to build your brand and get more customers? We say no. Here are five ways to play.
1. Be the front man.
Google won’t let your business have a profile, but you certainly can create an individual profile and post business-related material to your circles. (More about circles later.) In some ways, that’s even making a virtue out of Google’s restriction, by forcing you into being the front man or woman for your company.
2. Invite your existing followers.
In the very earliest days, invitations to Google Plus were about as common as gold tickets in Willie Wonka bars. Things have loosened up, and users can now get others through the door pretty freely. Send invitations to your best and most electronically engaged customers first. Import your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn followers, and maybe even look at your customer/CRM list.
Side note: You may find it difficult to import your Facebook friends or fans. Facebook recognizes the threat posed by Google Plus and has blocked several services that do this.
3. Use circles to segment your contacts.
The organizational metaphor of G+ is that of “circles.” You assign your contacts to one or several circles of acquaintance or interest. The metaphor is literal in the user interface when you start out: you drag people onto circles that you can create and name.
Here’s a key: you can create any number of circles you like and name them whatever you want. Here’s another key: one person can be in any number of circles. And the last key: you can send individual posts to any circle or circles you want.
If you’re an accounting firm, you can create circles for each of your professional staff, and assign contacts as appropriate. You can also create circles for each function (bookkeeping, taxes, legal issues, for instance) and assign the same contacts in the appropriate circles. It would be nice if you could send posts to subsets of circles — all of Mary’s clients who have tax issues – but that will have to wait. For the time being, you can send posts to Mary’s clients, or clients who have tax issues, but not the intersection of those circles. But you can also send a post to Mary’s clients, Jack’s clients, and William’s clients with a single click.
Use the circle feature to segment your contacts.
4. Mind the +1 button for SEO.
In Facebook, it’s “Like.” In G+, it’s the +1 button. And, as with Facebook, the +1 is available to put on your own pages outside the confines of the social network.
But here’s the thing. Facebook tried, with great success, to keep search engines at bay. With Google Plus, search is the whole enchilada. It’s likely that Google will use the +1 button – on and off Google Plus – as another means to measure the authority of pages, posts, and people. So keep watching tounderstand how and whether this will impact your search engine rankings and SEO efforts. And if you’re bold enough to add a +1 button to your website, here are some instructions.
5. Keep monitoring the social media landscape.
Google Plus is brand spanking new. As with any startup, Google is pretty much building the road as people are driving on it, so the rules of the road are a little, shall we say, fluid. The G+ you’re engaging on today will be different from the one you’ll engage on next month, let alone next year.
The same is true for the overall social media landscape. Here is one interesting take on how Google Plus will impact competition between services that are already part of your marketing mix. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but we’re betting that you’ll want your business on Google Plus.
reposted from - http://blog.bestvendor.com/2011/07/should-you-be-marketing-on-google-plus/