imagesA whopping 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social media. Google+ has been around, but the reasons for use are becoming more obvious. Perhaps you are avoiding setting up the account because you’re not sure where to start. With more than 540 million users already in, it is time to get your business there.

1. Purpose of the page. Personal, professional or business? The most interesting individual pages are a hybrid of personal and professional. People are able to connect with all your interests, and not just in business. When opting for a business page, consider also setting up a Places listing; it will tie in nicely to a Google+ business page. To maximize all angles, setup a blended personal/professional page and a business page.

2. Offer information on the About page. Some may struggle with coming up with the content, but it can be as simple as answering a couple questions.

Story Tagline – What do you do for others?

Story Intro – Why would someone want you to do that for them?

Occupation – Where you work? What do you do for people?

Photo – Who can people relate to? Select a picture that will let them know you are human.

Cover – Where are you? Consider a cover photo of where you are.

3. Find people to circle. The Find People feature is a good place to start, but use of third party sites could broaden the demographics. Look for people that may have an interest in you, and you in them. Also look at the following search topics on Google+, and not just people. The information can be useful and helpful in staying ahead of key subjects.

4. Utilize Communities. One of the best benefits of Google+; Communities. The content can be set to either public (i.e. services for select customers), or public (open to anyone with interest of the topic). They are simple to create, and easy to join and connect with. And helpful for building opportunities to connect with people already passionate on the topic. From the Communities, you may find more people to connect with and circle; just one more way to use the platform.

5. Stay in contact with Hangouts. Another key benefit to Google+ is the Hangouts tool. The Hangout on Air feature allows for live video conferences. This is especially handy for quick impromptu meetings or presentations.

6. Change the settings to manage information. Consider limiting the notifications to avoid an overloaded email account. Spend some time organizing your circles so you know where to focus your attention and tasks. Post to “Public” for information you want shared on Google search engine index. A “Plus” does not share with your community, so if you want to share, be sure to click “Share”.

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