Social Network Profile: Google+

Google Plus

Your social media activities should drive traffic to your website. Whether that be to make a purchase, discover store hours or learn more about a new product - content discovery on your owned channel is key.

To start, most businesses jump straight on to Facebook and Twitter when planning their social media strategy, and unfortunately stop there. Those are the most widely recognized for sure, and seemingly the most widely used - so that make sense, right? What businesses neglect to realize, is that while Google identifies Facebook and Twitter pages, they are not a part of it’s search ranking algorithms, meaning they don’t help get your content discovered organically, outside your current audience.

Content created and shared on Google+ on the other hand, is easily crawled by Google so that it can be displayed in organic search results for anyone seeking the answers to a problem that you, your products and services - can provide. Taking it a step further; by setting up Google Local - your content will be linked with your shop’s location and delivered more accurately to people close to you.

Suggested Read: Best Practices for Using Google+ as a Business [Infographic]

Once you have your Google+ business page established and Google Local verified, here is an easy formula that can be used over and over again for optimizing and publishing your content:

Prepping the Post

  1. Identify the content you’ve created on your shop website or blog, and grab the link
  2. Select a photo that represents the content and save it in a folder for easy access
  3. Take a moment to write a short description of what readers will find, or just copy the first few sentences from your content

Publishing the Post

  1. Open Google+ and go to Posts, then select the Photo option
  2. Choose “Upload from Computer” and select your saved photo
  3. In the description line, enter your content’s title as the headline (Pro tip: place asterisks on either side of your *headline to make it bold*)
  4. Include a short description or preview of the content readers will find
  5. Paste the link to your content into the post, preferably a space below the preview copy
  6. Publish your content to Public
  7. Optional: if you have circles established for your customers, consider separating them by interest or discipline, then target your own content to be delivered specifically to each

The Takeaway

Old assumptions + new realities. Facebook and Twitter do not aid in the organic discovery of your content. Google+ on the other hand, is tied in to the search algorithm and directly impacts the results delivered. Strategic content sharing on Google+ will improve the likelihood that both current and potential customers find both your shop’s information, and all of the interesting and valuable insight you have to offer.

Make an effort to test this for yourself over the next 2-3 months. Add customers to circles, target posts to audiences you know will receive them well - no matter how small. Don’t let your great content die on the vine - get it in front of the people who matter.

About The Author

Paul Haskell

Paul Haskell

Paul Haskell led social strategy at one of the country's largest gourmet food companies, and now offers independent social media consulting for small businesses.