Think you know how to use Google+? You Don’t. Take our word for it. As a social media consulting agency, we see more than our fair share of people that “think” they know Google+….they don’t. Even industry experts seem to get it wrong more often than get it right. Why? Well in part it’s due to the newness; not of Google+ itself although obviously it is still a relatively new site, but rather due to the unique and novel way of thinking that is inherent to Google+. You see, Google+ isn’t just a new social media site…it’s literally a new way of doing business, finding information, communicating and just plain existing. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to find out what you are doing wrong – what others are doing right and how to get on the fast track of social media success.
Mistake #1 -
Believing that people love and adore your brand…or business. Okay, listen up because we are going to lay it on the line. People Don’t Give a Damn About Your Brand. We hate to be the bearer of bad news but even the ultimate brand advocate honestly and truly doesn’t care about your business. Yes, that probably sounds nothing short of heretical coming from a social media marketing agency but it’s the truth and nothing but the truth. However, like most inconvenient truth’s, there is more to the story. You see, despite the fact that using social media marketing is able to build strong, long lasting relationships with clients, that isn’t the main driver…at least in the minds of clients. Even the most dedicated brand advocate doesn’t truly care about your brand or even your business. No, what they truly care about are their friends and family! Research has repeatedly demonstrated this fact. Clients and consumers share information not to benefit your brand but because they believe it will benefit others or their own interests.
Are you positioning your brand to build user awareness for your own sake or do your make it easy for brand advocates to benefit their friends and family? Remember, they don’t care about your brand or business…they care about their friends and family! Speak to the desire to give to others while making it easy to share good information and meaningful incentives.
Mistake #2 -
Believing that a Rose by Any Other Name Still Smells the Same. Maybe we are taking this metaphor a bit too far but suffice to say, Names Matter. Admit it. You have Googled your own name. Not just your business name but your actual name. So has everyone else. So do your clients. They not only Google your business name and your name but your CEO, your employees, your prior connections…they Google everything. Why does this matter? Well, if they are going to Google it (and they are!) then it behooves every small business to make sure they get the right information. What does that mean in real life terms? Well, to begin with, it’s a good idea to link important people within the company with your business Google+ page. That way it becomes easy to distinguish the right from the wrong profile.
What do people see when they Google your brand? Your Business? YOU? Find out! First, log out of Google then perform a standard search on Google for each of the above. Remember, the first page receives 90 percent of all results so focus your attention on the first page. Do your show up at all? how about your business? Make sure the right profile’s are associated with the search and pay very special attention to any negatives or misleading results that may appear. Find something questionable or concerning? Speak to your social media manager about reputation management solutions!
Mistake #3 -
Not “Owning” Your Own Name! As a social media management firm, this one still surprises us on a fairly regular basis. We see things like X Solutions followed by social media sites that say Solution X. Let’s set the record straight once and for all…names matter. It is important to pick a single name and use it consistently across all forms of social media marketing as well as the Internet at large. Make it distinctive enough to be easily recognized yet simple enough to be found via a regular search. This holds true for your business and brand identify as well as personal and/or professional profile. It is important to “own” the entire first page of search results as well as the Google+ and other social media profiles associated with each. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ should all use the same name, logo and so forth.
Are you using Google+ to build your brand? Remember, Google knows (and prefers) Google so start there; utilize Google+, YouTube, PIcassa and local social search (including Maps, SeeInside and other Google functions) to enhance first page results associated with each notable name including your business, key persons and other associated queries.
Mistake #4 -
Combining Google Profiles…or Failure to Differentiate. Okay, this one is a tough one. On one hand, everyone is trying to combine profiles rather than create more of them but at least for the time being, that could be a big mistake when it comes to using Google+ for business. Why? Because of the way Google+ sorts and filters information and relationships. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule but rather contingent upon how closely (or not) your real identity is shared by the business profile and vice versa.
Are you able to enjoy both the privacy and potential of Google+ for business and pleasure? If not, it might be time to consider the use of multiple profiles or increased segmentation. Not sure how to proceed? Speak with your social media manager for more options and alternatives.