Innovating with Google+ for Small Businesses

Many bloggers out there (including myself) have been forewarning the masses about how some features of Google+ are going to make using Google+ for small businesses very difficult. Well we aren’t taking that back, because with anything new challenges will always be encountered. However, there have been some recent ideas and innovations that have taken these somewhat marketing-proof features of Google+, like Google+ Circles, and proved that we can use them in ways that benefit our small businesses. That’s what we’ll focus on today.

Innovating with Google+ for small businesses | Using Google+ Circles

Google+ Circles isn’t far different from Facebook Lists, the only difference is Google’s focus on Circles and how the entire platform gravitates around that particular feature, in return it gives it significance and importance. So how can we use it for our small businesses? Well first of all start categorizing the customers or potential customers that you communicate with. For example make a circle for these: Complaints, Influencers, Used a Coupon, Ready to Purchase, etc. This will ease up your workload and make things run much more smoothly and organized.

Also when you organize your Google+ contacts then you can direct specific campaigns and communications to them in a much easier fashion than say you do with your email campaigns. Google+ for small businesses can effectively organize what information you direct towards whom.

Innovating with Google+ for Small Businesses | Putting Your Business in a Circle

Right now, Google+ is in trial mode, so a lot of information about Google+ for small businesses is somewhat speculative. Nonetheless, its educated speculation and I’ll be willing to bet that it will be very easy for Google+ to allow its users to put small businesses in Circles. What I am most excited about is the integration of Google+ with other platforms and what this will mean for your marketing campaigns. Sooner or later, Google+ will be integrated with Google Places and your frequented Google Places will be visible to your friends on Google+. A marketing suite for Google+ for small businesses and other Google platforms like Google Places will be a must in the coming months.

Innovating with Google+ for Small Businesses | Google+ Sparks for small businesses

Basically Google+ Sparks allows the user to search for topics that they are interested in and they can follow updates on these topics by adding them to their Sparks. So using Google+ for small businesses means that once again we will have to place a lot of focus on SEO in order to appear at the top of the list. But that still doesn’t fair well for small businesses, because we all have come to find that it is very difficult for an SMB to come up at the top of a national search. Well perhaps Google+ Sparks will evolve into something more intelligent and catered to each particular user and when we search for “great floral places for weddings” then Google+ Sparks will share local places with us rather than something irrelevant.

Innovating with Google+ for Small Businesses | Place Pages with Google+

I found Andrew Shotland’s write-up in SearchEngineLand about the evolution of Google+ for small businesses and Place Pages to be very compelling, take a look:

When a Google+ member hits a Place Page, there’s a message to add them to a Circle and/or to join the business’ Circle. We wouldn’t be surprised if there were some kind of default “local biz” Circle that shows up on the Place Page that you can easily drag the business’ Google+ badge into.

Google Offers becomes a default Circle so you can see local offers in a stream on Google+ whenever you want, filtered by interest and your social graph.

When you hit a Place Page that is either a member of a Google+ friend’s Circle or has been reviewed by a Google+ friend, you see your friend’s social history with the business.

Businesses with claimed Place Pages are able to incentivize you to add them to your Circle.

So even though Google+ offers a lot of challenges for small businesses, there is also an upside to using the platform. Stay tuned to BlackBoxSocialMedia for articles about Google+ for small businesses and much more.