The hype surrounding Google+ has died down somewhat, but Google’s new social toy continues to roll along during its beta stage. Already we have witnessed the platform experience record setting growth, address some minor privacy issues and even introduce a gaming component that gives it a bit more recreational value. And although we are all anxiously awaiting the launch of the promised business-centric version, which could be here as early as the upcoming fall season, there are still quite a few ways to incorporate Google+ into your existing online marketing strategy right now.
Build “Circles” around Your Brand
Circles is one of the main components that drives Google+. It is essentially a feature that lets the user segment their contacts into groups, or as the name implies, circles. The cool thing about this feature is that those groups can be customized as segments like “friends,” “relatives,” or whatever categories you choose. Even cooler is that instead of sharing the exact same content with all of your fans as you would on Facebook, Circles lets you share select content with the specific groups you are targeting, meaning there is no need to expose your contacts to content that may not exactly be relevant to them. In the early stages, creating targeted circles on Google+ should be among your top priorities.
“Spark” the Conversation in Your Circles
When it comes to content discovery, Google is second to none, beating out both the popular social bookmarking sites and competitors in its own market by a landslide. While the Google+ platform doesn’t necessarily have a conventional search engine, it does have extensive search capabilities in a feature by the name of Sparks. With Sparks, users can easily find content based on their interests, and even submit their own areas of interest to make the discovery process more relevant. Though nothing groundbreaking by any means, Sparks provides a convenient way to share interesting content with your circles, which makes it extremely useful for sparking dialogue and building relationships.
Add the +1 Button on Your Domain
Before the unveiling of Google+, we met the +1 button, which allows internet users to endorse the content they like online with the quick click of a button. If this feature sounds familiar, it is because it works in similar fashion to the Facebook Like button released last year. The Google +1 button is now available to webmasters, so it would be in your best interest to grab the code and place it beside all the other buttons you have pinned up next to your content. Whether it’s your website or blog, the +1 button can pay off big time by enabling you to generate higher search rankings, more traffic and more evangelists for your brand.
Watch Your Step
While preparing to integrate Google+ into your marketing strategy, it is very important to understand that the platform is not ready for all out business use. Google doesn’t seem to mind individual representatives establishing a presence for their company, but has already shown how much it disapproves of brands going full force by terminating their accounts. Tread carefully in the beginning and you can start seeing positive results before the business version even arrives on the scene.