Google+ and Business

So you’ve likely read articles and heard some buzz about Google+ – when it was first released in beta and then to the public, everyone seemed to be talking about circles and getting connected. Well, this hype has settled a bit and while there are some dedicated Google+ users, it is still not making large inroads into the Facebook space.

Recently Google+ has opened itself up for businesses. What this means is that you can create branded pages on Google+ – another way for you to market yourself and focus on some inbound marketing activities. But with everything that is “new” and “better” – there is lots of discussion out there on the WWW about the pros and cons of using Google+ for business.

We thought it would be a good idea to look at the pros and cons and break them down for you. By the end of this blog post you’ll have a wider understanding of Google+ and why you may or may not want to use it for your business. (As always, if you have any questions or would like some additional advice – don’t hesitate to send us an email and we’ll get together and talk!)

The Basics

Officially called Google+ Pages (why not simply call it Google+ Business…), Google is touting this recent offering as a way for people to connect with their favorite brands and businesses. The idea is that you can build relationships with the people behind the brands and businesses that you like, frequent and are interested in. This type of relationship building helps consumers build a connection and relationship with a brand, and then when shopping for a Christmas presents for example, ¬†hopefully this brand will be the first picked up off of the shelf.

The way this all works with Google+ is that people can recommend your company, brand or products with a +1 and even add you to one of their circles for a long-term connection. Then the sharing and communicating starts – perhaps your constomers will ask questions about your recent product developments or even have an idea for a new product. The key in all of this is that you need to communicate and be active on your Google+ Pages.

Pros

Google+ Pages does have a lot of pros and benefits for business and brands. Here is a look at some of the top-rated pros:

  • You can easily promote your business and brand to those who are interested in it. In other words – targeted communication with people who really want to know what is going on or have questions.
  • 40 million people are using Google+ so now you can tap into this market of current and potential clients.
  • A link with Google+ Pages definitely can help your page and website ranking in Google searches.
  • It is now easier for you to take advantage of Google+ Hangouts and really connect with others.
Cons
Just as there pros to Google+ Pages there are also some cons to be considered:
  • You cannot customize your Google+ Pages for your business. This makes it hard to have your page stand-out amongst your competitors.
  • You are limited to one administrator – so one person is essentially responsible for the communication, connections and relationship building.
  • It is not possible at this time to measure the success or failure of your Google+ Pages – so you can’t measure what is working and isn’t working.
  • In order to follow your Google+ business page, you must first be following that person. (In other words people can visit your page and simply click the Like button….)
  • Regardless of the number of followers, +1 and connections you have, you cannot have a vanity URL.
What To Do?
So with this information, what are you supposed to do? Well, first off, take a look at your current social media marketing activities – what are you doing with Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube? Do you feel as though you are using these social networks effectively and purposefully? Take a look at your analytics and statistics for these communication tools and consider the success and failure of your marketing activities.
Essentially, before leaping onto another social networking tool – it is important to ensure that you’re using the other tools the best you can. There is not much point in joining Google+ Pages and not being active on the network. So really take the time to think about what you want from a presence on Google+ and consider the pros and cons of this new tool.
(Yes, we can help you out with all of this!)
Further Reading
Take a look at these articles to get some other viewpoints and perspectives on Google+ for your business:
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What Is Klout?

If you’re new to Twitter or even if you’ve been around the Twitterverse for some time now, you may have seen rumblings about Klout and Klout scores. There are lots of folks out there just like you who have questions about Klout, Klout scores, and what this all means to your online and social media profile. So in this blog post, we’ll do our best to explain Klout, Klout scores and try to make sense of what this all really means to you.

Now, of course like everything on the Internet and particularly with social media, there are lots of opinions, theories and beliefs on what is really important and crucial to your online and social presence… So before we get into Klout, it is important to remember one very important thing: to be effective you must be active and social with social media – if you are asking questions, responding to comments, following new people, and generally communicating with others – then you are doing it right. So don’t get stressed about your Klout score, your “level of influence”, etc. – what is important is that you’re out there and begin active on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and writing regular blog posts – do this and the rewards of effective social media marketing will come your way.

What Is Klout?

The slogan on the Klout website reads: The Standard For Influence – so this should tell you that Klout is all about measuring sphere of influence on social networks. According to the website, each time you interact with someone, post a comment, or engage with others, Klout measures and records this activity to determine your “true reach”.

What this all really means – how many people are you affecting and impacting with your activity. As well Klout can measure and tell you in which areas you are most influential. For example if you typically post about vegetarian recipes, cyclocross racing and your pet cat, then likely these are the areas in which you’ll have the biggest sphere of influence and weight.

What Is A Klout Score?

Your Klout score is a number between 1 and 100. Yes, a very big range! And this score can fluctuate based on your activity level on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Klout believes that “influence is the ability to drive action” – so based on this your Klout score is based on the number of retweets, targeted Twitter messages, and likes and comments on Facebook. The more of these you have – the better for your Klout score. In addition the more people you have following you and engaging with you who have high Klout scores – the higher your score will be.

Just like the mystery behind Facebook algorithms, it is not possible to find out what really drives and controls your Klout score….

Why Does My Klout Score Matter?

Well, this is a big topic up for debate. There are people on both sides of the Klout fence.

If you listen to the folks at Klout, you can use Klout scores to help determine who to follow and engage in. As well, you can track your Klout score to see how you are “performing” on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Then of course there are those who say that to be effective on social networks you need to simply be active and get engaged. Rather than following a company, brand or person because they have a high Klout score – follow them or engage with them because you like what they’re saying or they represent an ideal you support. In other words, by engaging and socializing with those who have like-minded goals and niches – you will attract the true followers you are looking for. Particularly when it comes to promoting your business on Twitter and Facebook.

So Should I Care About Klout?

Hmm, tough question. The answer is this: yes and no.

Pay attention to your Klout score – it is very interesting to see in which areas you’re considered influential. As well it can be interesting to see how your Klout score fluctuates based on your social network activity. For example, if you’re doing a big online promotion for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is worthwhile tracking your Klout score before and after the promotion to help see if your social network marketing had an impact.

But this being said, don’t live and breathe based on you Klout score. It is not something that you need to check each and every day. Keep doing what you’re doing – engaging, communicating, and being active on social networks. Continue to pay attention to your new followers and who is liking or commenting on your Facebook posts – this real data can tell you more about the effectiveness of your social network marketing campaign.

To learn more about Klout, visit the Klout website.

To read a few different views on Klout, take a look at these links:

Why Klout Scores are Possibly Evil

Forget Klout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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