Telling the truth about SME life today

6 essential Google+ marketing tips

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1. Create a hovercard

This is possibly one of the greatest tips you could follow.

Mari Smith, author of ‘The New Relationship Marketing, and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day’, suggests that you get creative with your ’employer’ field and use that to craft an eye-catching mini-bio. This then shows in your hovercard, which is often the onlyinformation someone on Google+ has in front of them to decide whether to circle (follow) you or not.

When someone hovers their mouse over your name in posts, a little popup box will appear. And they’re customisable!

As your digital business card, you need to be prepared to do some personal branding here. Remember that this hovercard will essentially travel with you wherever you post anything.

Here’s a few tips to get you started.

2. Set up Google Authorship

Google Authorship is how Google authenticates your content and is it begins to trust you as a quality source of content, you will be displayed more often in search results. The word quality is stressed here as the point is to make yourself the go-to person for information. Google will recognise your efforts and reward you accordingly.

The most clearest benefit is that your name and picture will be displayed next to your content in the search results. This will add a human element to any content displayed and will help your content stand out, not to mention the fact that customers will know that you’ve been certified as ‘trusted’.

First, you need to verify your email address by checking ‘contact information’ in your profile’s ‘about’ page. And in the ‘links’ section, add your blog or business website in the ‘contributor to’ area.

All you need to do is link to your Google+ profile in each of your posts. For example,?

Your ID code will be the incredibly long number. Just make sure that the name in the bio is the same as your profile name.

If you want to check that everything works then there’s a rich snippet testing tool available.

3. Engage with relevant users

Of course, it is crucial to engage with customers when it comes to social media. Most of all, however, it’s about how relevant your conversations are and how you choose to engage with them through both personal and business pages.

This is where Google+ shared circles comes into play. In fact, the very purpose of circles is not to increase follower count, but to increase engagement.

The act of adding someone to a circle is like following a Twitter account or liking a page on Facebook. When you add them, you’ll see all the content they choose to share. But just remember that the limit on the number of people you can circle is 5,000, so choose carefully, and choose those relevant to your company.

You can do a manual search, but there is also a suggested users list, and you can also join communities to seek out those with the same interests. But there’s a fantastic list based on industry created by Chris Potter that could prove useful.

The default circles for profiles are “Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Following,” but you can easily delete or rename these.

Slowly build relationships and make sure to respond to mentions, comments and, inevitability, re-share posts.

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