Google+ has become a large question mark for many small business owners.

If you’re a Constant Contact Solution Provider, marketing consultant, or B2B service provider who wants to get ahead of the game you may be wondering why should you care about Google+? Should you attempt it? Where will you find time for another social network? How do you use it?All good questions and you’re not alone in asking them.

First things first…what IS Google+?

According to Google, the idea is to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life. Essentially, the user experience is similar to that of Facebook (a news feed based on status updates and shared content, recommended friends, etc.), but the idea here is to make it easier to share content with specific sets of people (called Circles) instead of just publishing content on your wall for everyone to see.

Why should you care about Google+?

Here are three ways Google+ can benefit you and your clients.

1. SEO benefits. The first, and in my eyes most important, is Google loves…well Google! This means there are great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) opportunities for your business. By sharing pages from your website on your Google+ page, you are helping your business rank higher in the Google Search Engine. This gives you a much better chance of getting in front of your target audience!

2. Easier to reach influencers. One of the other great things about Google+ is how new it is. This allows you to take your time, figure out what you like about it and grow slowly. There are many influencers already on Google+, and with a smaller audience to reach out too, you can begin to build relationships with these influencers!

3. Share more efficiently. A benefit that can be very important, if/when your clients and prospective clients are using Google+, is the ability to target your content more easily and more efficiently than other social networks. Using Google+’s circles, you can place followers into categories, similar to email lists. This allows you to send your piece of content to your entire audience or specific circles of your choosing.

Should you attempt Google+?

The short answer is yes! For most Solution Providers, Google+ should not be your main focus…yet! For now, it’s a good time to experiment. Just remember, the social world is always changing and there’s always something bigger and better just around the corner.

Where would you find the time for Google+?

Since the network is not yet widely adopted by users, no one is judging you on how often you frequent the site! Make an alert in your calendar, once a week, to remind yourself to play around with Google+. You only need 15 minutes to get your feet wet. Soon enough you’ll be remembering to go and post your newest blog or sale of the day. You will then be able to direct your clients to your Google+ page to demonstrate how to properly use this tool.

How do you use Google+?

Well, that’s a tricky one. This all depends on what your goal is.But, when starting out, it’s best to post an article or two a week and then engage with others by clicking the “+1″ button (similar to a “like” on Facebook), share other’s relevant posts, and join the conversation by commenting on updates you find interesting. Constant Contact has already begun to play with Google+ and has even created a Solution Provider Community, so a great way to start would be to check them out!

Have you started using Google+? What have you found? What questions do you have about the network?

For more information on Google+, make sure to check out Constant Contact’s Social Media Quickstarter.




Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2012/05/29/10-brilliant-apps-small-businesses-should-use

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