No longer the ghost town it was proclaimed to be two years ago when it started, Google+ now has more than 300 million active users, many of whom are your customers or people in your target market.
Do you really want your competitors, who are also on Google+, to catch their attention before you do?
Google-certified business coach BL Ochman, who teaches Google+ strategy to big PR firms and solopreneurs, will share tips on How to Use Google+ Communities to Connect with Influential People during a webinar from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, April 17. Register here.
Google+ Communities are teeming with important business leaders, experts and influential industry leaders. In many ways, Communities are far more powerful than LinkedIn groups. Here are 19 ways Google+ communities can help you grow your business.
Better Results in Google Search
1. Google indexes your content shared in public Communities and elsewhere on Google+ almost immediately, which means it shows up in search results within minutes.
2. Because Google’s new search algorithm favors it, content on Google+, including within public Communities, dominates Google search more than other social network including Twitter, Quora, Facebook and LinkedIn.
3. If you have created Google Authorship and linked your Google+ profile to content you create, your thumbnail-size avatar will often show up in search results and be the only avatar on the page. It will call attention to your content and make it more credible. This includes content shared in public Google+ Communities.
4. Unlike Faceboook, you don’t have to pay to have content you’ve shared in public Communities and elsewhere on Google+ pushed out to your followers.
Promote Your Expertise
5. You can promote your expertise from your Google+ hovercard, the little card that pops up when someone hovers their cursor over your name. People in an industry-specific Community with you can click on your name and immediately determine whether you’re someone with whom they need to connect. See this handy guide on How to Create an Impressive Google Hovercard in 7 Easy Steps.
6. You can add the +1 button to content on your website or blog, thus encouraging people to share it with others in one of more of their Communities.
7. You can promote your expertise in your Google+ profile which you must create before joining Google+. Within Communities, you can also include many links to other social sites or places you want people to visit so they can follow you, or learn more about you and how you can help them.
8. You can answer questions, share helpful content, offer links and solve problems posed by people within your industry-specific Communities. This is a fabulous way to build a huge following.
9. You can build customer loyalty by encouraging people to join a Community you have created, or one you’re in, and answer questions about things they need to know more about.
10. If you’re a brand, you can join Communities and talk with prospects in your target market.
Connect with Influential People
11. You can mention influential people in a post and they’ll see it, even if you are not in one of their circles.
12. They’ll know when you’ve commented on their content.
13. You can start a conversation with them or ask them questions within Communities.
14. If people say “yes” or “maybe” to your event invitation, it is automatically added to their Google calendar and they are reminded of the event several times.
15. You can share a post in a Community in which you both are members.
16. If you see they have tagged a photo, comment on it.
Caution: Don’t spam. If you do, you will be banned from the Community.
To Become Smarter Faster
17. In Communities, you can learn more about the things you are passionate about, either personally or professionally by directing questions to specific people.
18. You can take advantage of Hangouts which can be run from within a Google+ Community, with Hangout invitations sent to all members. Many experts are hosting free Hangouts on topics that interest their target market. You can, too.
19. Facing a business dilemma, like a printer you can’t fix or a bank that’s giving you problems with your merchant account? Join a Community that covers the issue and throw out the question. People will be glad to help you.
Join Us in the Hangout
This webinar will be presented as a Google Hangout. If you’re unfamiliar with the technology, don’t worry. You do not currently have to be using Google+.
After you register, you will get an email with instructions on three ways to participate. If you can’t attend because the time is inconvenient, register anyway. I’m sending a link to the video replay and the bonuses within 48 hours.
I’ll see you Thursday, or somewhere within Google+ communities. Be sure to connect with me.