Guest article written by Jessica Edmonson
Earlier this year, I offered a number of tips for getting the most out of your Google+ page in a two-part series (part 1 and part 2). If you couldn’t tell, I was a big fan of Google+ then, but I am even more so now with the launch of Google My Business (GMB), released back in June. If your business was on Google+ previously, you’ve likely encountered it already. If it wasn’t, it’s easier than ever to get involved now. Below, I’ll take a look at just what Google My Business is and make a few suggestions for getting the most out of your Google+ page in its new home.
The biggest change that’s come to all Google business products is that they’re now consolidated into one, easy-to-use platform. Below is an example of what you’ll see once you login now.
If you already use any other Google products in addition to Google+, you have instant access to top features like status updates and review management, while also acting as a one-click portal to the tool itself. You can also sync your efforts across Google Maps, Search and Google+, so you’re not toggling between all the different sites.
But more than anything, it embodies a crucial, broader point about social media. To make the most of it, you’ve got to do more than post photos, links or status updates. Instead, you need an interactive approach that combines sharing and community building with hard numbers that give you deep insight into the effectiveness of your efforts. To do that, you need to know…
What each section is for
If you’ve seen my Google+ tutorials, you already know how to use the G+ section of Google My Business. The Insights section provides analysis on how your Google+ page is faring, offering statistics on your business page views as well as clicks and shares. This will help you determine what your audience is interested in and the style of content they like to consume. The Analytics section is useful for similar reasons, though it can also apply to your business website and goes into greater depth.
The Reviews section is where you can easily view and respond to company reviews. Given how much importance customers give to online reviews when making purchasing decisions, this is a fantastic feature that ensures you never miss a review and can respond quickly to a negative review.
Finally, the Hangout section allows you to connect with your audience via video chat with sessions streaming to and archiving on YouTube.
For a deeper look at what Google My Business has to offer, check out this tutorial I blogged about earlier.
Topshop gets a lot of things right, sharing news not just about sales but also about its customers, festivals and other events its customers might be interested in, about its latest campaigns, about art and fashion — all of it in the most visual ways possible.
But where Topshop really excels is in using its G+ page to actively engage its following. For instance, they created a number of campaigns for London fashion week that garnered hundreds of press mentions and increased their weekly views by 400%. In their “Be the Model” campaign, top models wore cameras throughout fashion week, so viewers could come along with them.
In another campaign, two fans were allowed to ask questions of top designers as they finished preparations for a show, all through a Hangout on Air. The brand also created a hangout app that enabled customers to choose items they liked and share them with friends on G+.
Altogether, these efforts lead to a 275% increase in shares and a 400% increase in +1s per day, increasing their G+ following by 300,000 in two weeks. These successes come from a deep understanding of the G+ platform, as well as what one can only assume are an adept knowledge of the available analytics on hand.
What this means for you
Google+ is a powerful platform, as are many of Google’s business tools. But before the launch of Google My Business, making the most all of those tools was next to impossible unless you were a big brand like Topshop. That’s why Google My Business is a game changer. I highly recommend reading this excellent guide to the new Google My Business for more great tips on how to make the most of the platform.
Jessica is a writer and content marketer at Distilled, a creative online marketing company. She particularly fancies small business topics that involve social media and branding. You can circle her on Google+ here.