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I haven’t felt this excited about a social media platform since — 2007?

Google+ has been around for three years already, but it’s only just now catching on with mainstream small business. In fact, my recommendation to you (if you don’t already have a profile — to create a Google+ Profile today) Irene Koehler(@IreneKoehler) from Almost Savvy has a super post on how to create a personal Google+ profile.

So, what is Google Plus and how do you use Google Plus for Marketing? Google Plus is not just a social networking service, but it is also a tool of authorship, the recognition as the source of a written piece. It connects the content of a web directly with its author. With 540 million monthly users, it is second in world only to Facebook of social networking sites. It is second only in the number of users since Google + came on the scene later, but you can be sure there are many reasons to use Google plus business and to use Google plus marketing.

There have been several publications out there who have said that Google+ is nothing but the sound of crickets – I disagree. If you have a small business catering to technical folks, small business owners and entrepreneurs — this is the place for you. It’s got the friendliness of Facebook with the networking power of Twitter and professionalism of LinkedIn.

Advantages of the New Google My Business?

  • When your customers are looking for you, they can connect with you on Google+, Search or use Maps to find you with Google My Business?.
  • Customers can connect with you on any electronic device they are using.
  • You can give customers the info they need at the right time such as Maps with directions to your business, open hours of your business on Search, or your business phone number to click on to reach you on mobile phones.
  • You will receive help to build a loyal fan base. Ratings and reviews by your customers will show their appreciation. The #1 button can be used by your customers to reshare your posts of Google+ throughout the web and validate your content.

Use Google Plus Business to Provide Opportunities to Connect People and Ideas in Your Company

Coworkers, partners and customers can connect and share information and ideas with Google+ business. Your business teams can work together to get things done with security features to keep their conversations private. They can interconnect freely and resourcefully with Google+ making it possible for them to:

  • SHARE information and ideas using posts to the company’s Google+ Stream. You can attach a video, image or document from your Google Drive to the Google+ Stream.
  • ORGANIZE into teams to allow for sharing ideas and information with Google+ Communities. These collaboration groups can share information, discuss innovations of manufacturing, update plans or request reactions to a business plan from the sales group.
  • USE LIVE VIDEOS to hold meetings over laptops, tablets or phones with Hangouts. Hangouts allows you to meet face-to-face with both colleagues and clients anywhere in the world with a simple click. You can easily communicate with people either inside or outside your company and save time and money by eliminating travel. You can talk to customers, interview a prospective employee, or plan with a business partner with Hangouts.
  • WORK with the addition of social tools on Google Apps.
  • BE SECURE with information kept private by controlling how and when Google+ is used.

Use Google Apps to Extend Your Business Tools

When you use Google plus Business, you can extend the tools you currently use when working together in teams or running your business. For instance, you can check a recent Google+ post of a team member in your inbox. Gmail can start a Hangout for you, or it can be added to an invite on Google Calendar. In addition, after posting a file from the Google Drive, you can discuss and edit the document with your team. Sharing the document can follow with the Google+ Community to begin a discussion in the stream.

Business Controls Manage How an Organization Uses Google+ For Marketing

In order to allow different people different uses, management can turn on Google+ for only certain sets of employees. Default settings can be adjusted by management for posts, Hangouts and other things. This will assure you that all sharing remains within your organization.

How to Jump Start Your Marketing with Google+

  • The first step is building your personal network.? Don’t fall for the temptation of adding hundreds of people at once. Google has a daily limit (although I haven’t gotten a straight answer as to what that is) but just be safe and be organic about it and you should be fine. Do this before you develop a Google plus business page or a Community page. In other words, first you network with your personal profile, and then you develop a business page.
  • Next, you should build your business influence with Google+ by gaining exposure of your business and content. You can do this by claiming authorship and participating in communities through the use of Google+ features. This will increase your visibility that will grow an audience. You can claim your Google+ authorship by either registering an email from your contributing domain or by linking your Google+ profile to your content.

Here’s how to link your Google+ profile to your content.

  1. Add a link to your Google+ profile in each of your blog posts author bio. Attach ?rel=author tag? to the end.
  2. Add a link to your author page of each blog you contribute to. Do this to your Google+ profile at the Contributor Section on the About tab.
  3. Make your Google+ page easy to find by adding a Google+ Badge to it.
  4. Vary your text format in your Google+ post to make it stand out in the stream. Use spacing and paragraph breaks to simplify scanning your content by readers and highlight headings.
  5. Use Google+ social media tools to set up a community. This will develop a loyal following.
  6. ?Other Google plus marketing guide suggestions you can rock with are promoting social media contests, posting adds, holding Hangouts, and using live videos.

If you were late to the Twitter party, then Google+ is your chance to jump on to a growing platform. Getting start early and connecting with your audience organically will pay off in spades for your business and your marketing efforts. Not only that, but it’s the ideal platform for the budget-minded or cash strapped entrepreneur. You won’t need a webinar platform, a meeting platform or even a blog — Google+ will handle all of it.

What are you waiting for? Jump in and have fun?using Google Plus for marketing!

photo credit: Angelina 🙂 via photopin cc