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Maximizing the Plus in Google+ Brand Pages

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By Hector Cisneros

Do you use Google+? Are you using, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Twitter for your business? If you are using any of these social networks, but not using Google+, you’re missing one of the biggest boats in the social networking ocean. The fact that Google Brand pages are tied into Google Search, Google Local and Google Maps, is crucial to your online marketing success  since they all contain the magic word “Google.” Google has 81% of search, this is reason enough for you to start utilizing Google+ Brand pages for your business. On top of that, it has in excess of 500 million subscribers.

This article covers what makes Google's Brand pages special, what's new and what's different to help your business. I discuss how to leverage Brand pages for search and provide a comprehensive strategy for successfully utilizing brand pages to market your business. If you're looking for a how-to and or tutorials showing you the basics, navigation or how to create Brand Pages, you can find one here. Now let's talk about what makes Google's Brand pages special.

Google Master Plan (frame 3)
Google Master Plan (frame 3) (Photo credit: jurvetson)
Google+ originally launched without brand pages and later added them so that businesses could create their own unique presence on Google’s social network. Google has continued to improve on its social network and its Brand pages by further integrating its other Google properties and applets into the Google+ fold. Specifically they have added a more robust and complete navigation system, a more complete and integrated profile, updated tab functionality and more in-depth drop down capabilities. Google+ always had an edge on the competition for ease of use, now it also has greater depth and power as well.

What's New?

Google+ has updated its format several times since its inception. Its newest format moves the main navigation menu to the left side as a drop down element. New elements that have been added include "What's Hot" and a “Communities” function. What's Hot shows you trending posts that are unique and getting lots of play on Google+. Communities is Google’s version of Groups. Both of these functions are robust yet easy to use and are fully integrated with all other Google apps and properties.

Here are some of my favorite features in Google+ Brand pages:.  First and foremost is the ease of use and high integration of Google applets and properties. Adding blog posts, YouTube videos and pictures is a snap. If you properly setup Google's Plus 1 system on your website and other social nets, you will make it easy for others to connect and recommend you.  Doing so also allows you to add social tracking to your google analytics. This will provide you with additional information on how visitors are using your Brand pages.

The Ripple Effect

Ripples is Google+’s version of Brand page statistics. It provides statistics showing how people in your circles are utilizing your posts. Its graphic display is unique and easy to understand. It shows how items have been shared from one person to the next.

I Love Google Hangouts

It makes it easy to create useful video content to provide to your audience.  You can even use it to double up on podcasts or when teaching clients to create content for your social networks and website. Visual content has the highest click-through rate of any content. It also has the highest share rate. Google Hangouts provides relatively high end functionality at zero cost to your businesses. What's not to like.

Targeted Posts Made Easy

First 1000 Followed on Google+
First 1000 Followed on Google+ (Photo credit: Geoff Livingston)

Google's+ makes it easy to segment your connections into any kind of categories you want. You can add a person to one or as many categories as you like. This allows you to target your messages to specific circles. To make it even easier Google+ post functions allow you to easily select which circle categories receive your post. Once posted you can use Google+ Ripples to track how your posts are utilized.

Creating a Strategy for Leveraging Brand Pages for Google Search

There are Search Engine Benefits from linking your website and other relevant internet property to your Google+ Brand pages, especially Google properties, (including Google Maps, Local, Picasa, Blogger and YouTube).  Make sure all your Google properties contain keyword elements. Also, make sure the "about tab" contains proper keywords as well. Include + Links to your blog, website, landing pages, directories and other social sites.

English: Wordmark of Google Maps
English: Wordmark of Google Maps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Make sure all your Google properties (especially Google Local and Google Maps) are completely set up and verified. Make sure all your websites and social properties have Google + 1 and share badges so that people can easily plus and share you when they visit.

Make sure you have a fully filled out profile. All sections need useful content. Make sure you add keywords to all sections. Whenever possible add keywords to all your posts, (including text, photos, audios and videos).  Create unique category segments within your contact circles so you can provide targeted content posts.

Provide value-added services by adding deep information posts on your products and services. Provide support Hangouts for your products and services. Provide interesting, fun and entertaining posts that are targeted at specific segments of your circles. Provide posts on a regular basis, (daily if possible).  Use Hootsuite or other aggregation software to schedule posts and provide RSS feeds from your favorite content sites (including your blogs).

Cross promote content from your Google+ Brand pages on your other social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest  Don't forget to fully exploit the power and integration of YouTube with your Brand pages. Here is a typical posting schedule I use for some of my clients Brand pages:

Typical Client Content Posting Schedule We Use

  • Daily cross-promoted posts of useful content to the top five social nets.
  • Daily forwards/share/retweets of influencer's content.
  • Weekly or monthly promos of products or services. This needs to be a soft sell of an outstanding offer.
  • Weekly or monthly Hangouts providing useful and support information for your targeted audience.
  • Weekly podcast or internet radio show to provide content for your targeted audience.
  • Weekly blog post cross promoted to all social nets.
  • Weekly YouTube video post cross promoted across all social nets.
  • Weekly, bi-weekly or monthly email newsletter/s linked to our blog, vlogs or internet radio show giving your clients a second shot to view your useful content.
  • Set up in-house policies to encourage new clients to connect and leave a positive review on Google Local or any social or review site to which they are connected.

In this article I provided a list of new features and changes that Google has made to its Brand pages. I have covered several unique aspects that make Google's Brand pages different and special and I have provided a strategic plan for maximizing the effectiveness of your Brand pages for Google search and social networking.  If you have found this article useful, please pass it on to your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment, please place it in the comment section below.  I hope you have enjoyed this article on how to maximize Google+ Brand pages for your business. (And don’t forget to Plus this blog on the way out.)

That's my opinion; I look forward to hearing yours.

If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below. 

Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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