The Knowledge: Google Plus for Small Business

  • By David Buxton
  • 28 June 2013

Now, Google+ is something of an unknown entity for a lot of small businesses - there’s been a lot of talk about it being a “ghost town” or that only Google employees use it.  However, the rumours are wrong and Google Plus is thriving.

We're going to start out at the very beginning from setting your page to typing your first post.  If you've already created an account and are looking for a more advanced class, then make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel where we'll be posting more advanced tutorials soon.

Why get started?

Google Plus is something of an unknown for small businesses as there's been a lot of talk about it being a social "ghost town". Well, fortunately these rumours are unfounded.

It's now the second largest social media platform after Facebook by numbers beating Twitter into third place. Second, and this is probably more important to small businesses - there’s talk about Google weighing search results in favour of those with a Google Plus page

So, how do I get started?

Well, first of all you need a personal Google Plus account. Chances are that you've already got one and this is especially true if you've got a Google Mail account. If you've not set one up yet, just head over here and to get started.

Once you've set up a personal page, you'll then need to create a business page. There's a couple of different ways to do this: you can either head over here or you can do it through your personal profile.

Google is going to ask you a series of questions based upon your business profile, try to ensure these are as correct as possible since, like on Facebook, they will be used for your local business information within the social network which allows potential customers to find you properly when they use local search.

Once you're up and running you'll want to get your page branded. Make sure that you use a nice large high-resolution image for the header as it's huge and takes up a lot of real estate on the screen. Also ensure that you use a good quality logo for the profile picture to show off your business.

It's worth imagining your header image as your shop window where you can show off your business to its fullest.

What next?

Once you've set up your page, you're going to want to gain followers and get posting. Remember that patience is key here: you're not going to attain thousands of loyal followers over night.  

There are, however, some simple steps to take which will help:

  • make sure your engaging in the wider community and speaking to other members of your trade in Google Plus
  • Search for and follow other businesses that you admire
  • Start following other pages and joining in discussions they post
  • Get a link on your website asking people to follow you
  • Update your business cards to include the Plus! logo

 

You could also look to start your own business community or even start a business hangout to discuss your business ideas or speak to customers. Here is an example of a Simply Business hangout - digital marketing for small businesses with Emma Jones, Kevin Byrne and Kris Hewitt:

 

By now you should be up and running in Google Plus but that's just the beginning!  We'll be going into further detail in up coming Knowledge videos. Hence, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don't miss out!

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more about: Marketing your business , Online