With Labor Day coming up fast! Check out Part 2 of the major “Dos and Don’ts” for preparing your business for the holiday season from seasoned social media and small business expert, Ben Fisher.
Deadly Sin 4 – Circles Not managed
Every brand should have an email list, and email marketing should be a major component of your holiday marketing strategy. On social media, you should encourage followers to sign up for your email list as well. But on Google Plus, there is a unique opportunity to combine social with email marketing techniques, and we call them “opt-in circles.”
Want some interesting facts on email marketing? Read some here.
TIP: Ask your Google Plus audience if they would like to opt in to receive notifications when you post certain types of content. Place those interested into a circle. When you post that type of content, be sure to add that circle to the selected audience. There will be a checkbox that says “Also send an email to [Name of circle].” Make sure you select this box.
Deadly Sin 5 – Not Using Hangouts
Google Hangouts on Air is a live video broadcast that is recorded to your company’s YouTube channel (where you can further optimize it). The associated Google Plus Event can be promoted anywhere, and those who RSVP “Yes” or “Maybe” can have the event added to their Google Calendar (along with reminders if they have their settings set up that way).
Nothing is more powerful than being able to communicate visually with one another. With face-to-face, live interaction, we can read body language, listen to vocal inflections, and connect with our audience more deeply than through traditional broadcasting and advertising formats.
In addition to having your own Hangouts, you can offer your expertise and be a guest on other people’s Hangouts. This exposes you to their audience, as an expert! By being on other people’s shows, you gain company mentions, personal mentions, links to your website and broaden your brand. If the host of the show repurposes their content, you could gain links, and citations from SoundCloud, iTunes, other blogs, Slideshare (ok you get the point). Link earning is the point.
TIP: Hangouts can be turned into a lot of re-purposed content, a few ideas: Create a highlight reel – post on YouTube or Vine, have it transcribed for a blog post, chunk out a few minutes for golden nuggets that can be posted as well.
Deadly Sin 6 – Do Not Have A Strategy
Every post in Google Plus can show in Google.com search. Every Hangout On Air is archived on YouTube and visible in search, every post has a format – with a visible link in the four lines, an image posts can get great engagement. These are all fine and dandy, but in the end you need a strategy that will achieve results.
Tip: Define your goals ahead of time, setup Google Analytics to track those goals, and create a posting strategy that will lead those you engage with to that end. This way you know what success is, and can feel great about the investment you have made.
7 Step plan to be ready for the holidays on Google Plus
1. Run a Brand Page Audit and fix any errors with Steady Demand Google Plus Audit Tool
2. Start engaging, now, on your own posts, posts of others, and within communities.
3. Create circles of engagers, industry media outlets and bloggers, and start to build relationships with them and their content.
4. Periodically ask your followers if they would like to opt in to a circle you notify of special announcements.
5. Appear as a guest on Hangouts on Air shows.
6. Run your own Hangouts on Air to showcase products and build an audience.
7. Create and execute on a strategy.
The most important thing is to start now, to build up your targeted and engaged audience. Those are the people who will want to buy from you anyway, and spread the good news of your products when the holiday season is upon us.
All of the content you will have created along the way will also help you get found in Google search, since every post on Google Plus is indexed, and may even rank.
Will all this take time? Of course it will, but there is hope. First, all the hard work placed into Google Plus have a long-term effect on your presence across Google, their products, and services, long after your display advertisement buys are gone.