Google+ is one of the newest social media spaces available to companies, and the concept of their network is unlike any other. Much like myself, prior to my intern experience with College Pro, most people are unaware of how to use Google+ properly and all that it can do for companies. I have explored multiple company pages on Google+, as well as participated in an online conference involving Google+ uses for businesses, and am amazed by what it offers.
First, the most important thing to keep in mind about Google+ is that it is a social network created by a search engine. This means that your Google+ page is going to be seen by not only Google+ users, but by anyone searching your company – or anything in relation to your company, on Google. I have learned that Google+ ‘following’ (the equivalent of Facebook liking) plays a part in Google search results. For example, if I follow College Pro on Google+ from my personal account, and I search “painters” on Google, College Pro will show as a result sooner than painting companies who have paid for search optimization. This makes gaining followers incredibly important.
In order to gain followers, a company’s Google+ page must be accessible, interesting, and engaging. While building College Pro’s Google+ page, I have learned many “do’s” and “don’ts”. First, +1ing and commenting on other people’s posts means anyone else who is looking at that post will also see your company name, and will eventually increase followers. Also, many companies have proven that it is beneficial to post not only your own information (which displays the value of your brand), but to share other people’s as well. Sharing other company’s information shows that you are not simply self promoting, and sharing follower’s posts gives them the reassurance and confidence to continue engaging with your page. For example, Alure Home Improvements Google+ page is filled with posts involving their own website and employees, and hardly any posts have comments, +1’s, or any interaction at all. However, if College Pro were to share one of Alure’s posts on their own page, people would see College Pro is confident enough to direct followers to another source for home improvement, as well as appreciate the diversity in brands on the College Pro page. In addition, Alure would feel inclined to comment on College Pro’s posts in the future.
Google+ combines the many interaction tools of other social networks like Facebook chat and Youtube videos into a feature called “Hangouts”. A hangout is a video chat between multiple people, and can be broadcasted live world-wide. A great example of a very popular Hangout is when the Whitehouse asked their Google+ followers to submit questions for the president via Youtube, and 5 of them were selected to join a live hangout with President Obama on Google+. You can watch the full video here: Obama Google+ Hangout. This can be used as an interaction tool between a company and their customers, which is much more personal and respectable than written messages.