You may be thinking, what’s this, another social media platform? I already have Facebook and Twitter. Isn’t that enough? Well, in the world of social media, enough is never enough. While Facebook and Twitter are widely used, Google+ is as well, and you want to be able to reach as many customers as possible.
Google+ has been around since 2011, and many people questioned its need back then for the same reasons mentioned above. But now, Google+ has over 300 million active monthly users and has become one of the largest social media sites. Google+ is also useful because it is integrated with all of Google’s other features, like Google Maps. Here is your Google+ guide.
Create Google Plus Account
You will first need a Google account (basically a Gmail email address) to open a Google+ account. Click “Create an Account,” located at the top right of the screen. Follow the instructions and add a profile photo. From there you will be directed to your new Gmail account and you are now ready to start using Google+ from the dashboard icon in the top right corner.
The Google+ terms you need to know
Circles – Circles are a bit like people to follow on Twitter, except that you can put them into different groups. Default groups include: Family, Friends, Acquaintances, and Following. You can also create your own groups for things like favourite brands or businesses. A Circle is like a filter. You decide who can see what you post and you can organize who you follow.
Profile – Your image on Google+. Here you can add a profile photo and a cover photo, much like that in Facebook.
Stream – This is your home screen where you can see other people’s posts.
What’s Hot – This shows posts, discussion topics, and hashtags that are trending on Google+. Google+ also makes suggestions for Communities that may interest you.
Communities – This is where you can find discussions about specific topics with others interested in the same thing. All you need to do is request to join the conversation.
Events – This is where you can promote your Hangouts On Air, as well as different events. It is fully integrated with Google Calendar to help you keep everything organized. Events can be shared publicly or privately.
Hangouts – There are three types of hangouts: Text Chat, Hangouts, and Hangouts On Air. Text chat is a private chat. Hangouts are a private video chat between up to 10 different accounts. Hangouts On Air are public video chats with up to 10 people that can be viewed by everyone and are archived as YouTube videos. For this feature, you will need to link your account to a YouTube account.
+1’ing – This is the equivalent of ‘liking’ a post.
Hashtags – Hashtags are an essential part of searching within the realm of social media. Using hashtags can help improve the reach of your posts. Google+ also suggests related hashtags to help post visibility.
Page – This is a Google+ business profile.
After you have set up your personal account, you will need to set up a business page. You will be asked a series of questions about your business and be sure to answer these as correctly as possible. This will help people find you when they use a local search. You may already have a business profile on Google+. In this case, you will have to verify it and confirm you are the owner. The importance of a Google+ page is that it helps users find new places locally. In other words, it give your restaurant more online visibility. Your page will be visible on Google searches and Google Maps. Zagat reviews (if applicable) will also appear when someone searches and finds your restaurant.
Next, choose a good profile picture. Google+ is a very visual social media platform. It allows you to upload a larger cover photo than on Facebook, up to 2120 x 1192 pixels. Choose your company logo as a profile photo and then a photo of your restaurant as the background photo.
Now you need to find followers. Like with any social media site, you won’t get thousands of ‘likes’ overnight. Try these simple simple tips for beginners:
– Engage with others in your community. This could include other local businesses and suppliers.
– Follow other businesses that you like.
– Start following other pages and joining in discussions.
– Add a link to Google+ on your website. Encourage people to follow you.
– Advertise that you are on Google+ in your restaurant. Show it on your business cards or menu.
Google+ allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal level. A well-developed Google+ page will be one of the first things customers see when they search for you. You should make sure that your information is up-to-date, meaning your hours of operation are current, your contact information is correct, and that you have accurately pinned yourself on the map. Your page should have plenty of good photos of your food and restaurant. You can engage with customers through Google+ and customers can also engage with you, making Google+ an invaluable social media tool to promote your business.