The following is a guest post by Fernando Cuscuela. His bio is at the end.
Google continues to grow and improve its impressive social platform with smart capabilities and increasingly significant SEO value. However, the truth is many brands are still unaware of what exactly you can do on the platform.
Google+ offers a lineup of intuitive tools that can help brands across all industries attract a following on the network and grow their online presence. But beyond setting up a business Page to take advantage of the search benefits that come with it, how can you use the social platform to set your business apart from the rest of the competition?
Here are some of the creative ways your brand can take to reach the next level with your Google+ Page:
Create virtual tours with Google+ Hangouts
Beyond using Google+ Hangouts for internal communication, you can also set up Hangouts to offer your audience a virtual tour of your day-to-day role or a behind-the-scenes of your business.
For example, Coca-Cola set up a Hangout to invite fans to a behind-the-scenes look at their Coca-Cola Archives storage space, which is devoted to their marketing assets and memorabilia. They shared stories of the artifacts and held a Q&A via Hangouts within their 2.5 mile long storage center. This was a fun, interactive way to reach people who love Coca-Cola products.
Turn on Party Mode
If you’re hosting an announcement party, sales event, or some other group function, you can enable Party Mode on Google+ for your event. This allows your event attendees to automatically upload their photos and videos to a single location that all attendees can access. Attendees just need to respond “Yes” to an event invitation sent from your Google+ account and they will receive a notification asking to turn on Party Mode when the event begins. It’s that easy to have all your event photos and videos in one place.
Grand St., a community for well-crafted personal technology, took the Party Mode feature and combined it with the idea of an old-fashioned photo booth to create an interactive and engaging experience for its party guests. Instead of renting out an expensive photo booth, Grand St. simply constructed a photo booth space and set up a camera to upload, share, and print the photos using Google+ Party Mode. The photo booth project was a hit and the team has open-sourced the code along with a detailed blog post so others can build their own Photobooth using Google+ Party Mode too.
Broadcast your product launches and demos
Take advantage of streaming live with Google+ Hangouts On Air. Your content can be easily saved to YouTube and easily viewed later. Hosting a Hangout On Air is a valuable way to not only broadcast new product launches or demonstrations and build up hype around the event, but also to create a steady stream of video content on your YouTube channel.
UK-based chocolate company Cadbury is the king of hosting fun, interactive Hangouts on Air and has been using this tool for a while now to add a new level of engagement to its video marketing strategy.
Cadbury gets fans involved with its products by hosting a variety of Hangouts that range from Q&A sessions, chefs showing step by step how to make Cadbury treats in the kitchen, and even “Taster Circle” events where fans get the chance to sample and compare the chocolates. Using Hangouts on Air allows Cadbury to record the broadcast and post the videos directly to YouTube, creating continuous fresh content for their larger candy and chocolate audience.
Curate inspiring Google+ circles
Google+ users can find new people and pages to follow by searching through public shared circles. Your brand can take advantage of this feature by establishing your page as a resource for users in search of interesting new people to follow.
You can create and share inspiring circles for your target audience, such as a circle for industry influencers, your business’ support team, or even your favorite local businesses or non-competing businesses.
Embed Google Drive content into your posts
Google has integrated almost all of its products with the Google+ network, which means you can easily embed content from your Google Drive directly into your Google+ posts. This works for any Google Drive document. Whether it’s a presentation, survey, or sign up sheet, your audience can view or interact with your embedded content.without leaving your Google+ page.
Usually, when posting content on social media, links are meant to direct traffic back to your website or blog. However, there are also many benefits to directing traffic from your other social networks back to your Google+ page. Each post on Google+ is treated as an individual web page and is indexed in search results. This means, when someone clicks one of these links and views your Google+ post, they have the ability to comment, follow, +1, or even share it. Doing any of these things sends social signals to Google, which helps boosts your page rankings in search results.
These are just a few of the creative ways to get more out of your Google+ page. Google offers many innovative tools to help grow your brand’s following and increase your interactions on the social network.
Which of these tools have you tried for your business? Share with us in the comments!