Social Media for Business Part 3: Google+ and LinkedIn

As you may well have already learnt, Facebook is no longer the sole ‘go to’ platform. Today, many other social media channels are developing fast with their unique points of difference. Google+ and LinkedIn are two of the most popular networks in the UK amongst Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Google+

Google+ for business has continued to be a growth market for businesses and for search engine optimization. 

Just like Facebook, Google + offers you the opportunity to promote your business and even a specific product you have in mind. The search giant’s social network attracts more than 10% (6.3million) of the UK’s population with their unique differentiating incentives, which is using the platform to impact the rank of your business on Google. This could mean you increase the odds of getting highly targeted visitors from Google’s organic search results. 

The biggest audience segments are students, creatives and tech orientated professionals, with 36% of Google+ users having a demographic social grade of C1. 

You should ensure that all relevant contact information such as your address and phone number is up-to-date on your Google+ account, as the platform provides a great starting point for customers to share reviews and discover your business. 

How to get started?

Google has “+1” votes which is similar to Facebook’s ‘’like’’ button. The more +1’s your pages and posts receive the better. These votes tell Google that what you’re sharing is being read and shared which can have a significant impact on search rankings. 

Google Plus also differentiates between individuals and companies. As a small business, you will be best represented with a company page. Your posts and profile description need to include rich texts with relevant keywords in order to enhance SEO (Search Engine Optimization). For your company’s best description, think about the search phrases people will type when looking for your business. However, do not use this as an opportunity to list your services excessively, a general rule would be to try and keep descriptions to about 6-8 phrases long with each phrase consisting of 1-4 words.  A great example would be: ‘Specialised beauty treatments’, amongst other phrases such as ‘Bournemouth’s no.1 salon’. This kind of keyword metadata will be an advantage when it comes to Google ranking. 

Like any social media site, hard selling simply does not work. Instead you should always be offering individuals a reason for them to align themselves with your brand, helping them to shape their online personality. 

LinkedIn 

Whilst LinkedIn may not have the buzz or the customer base of Facebook and Twitter, it has changed the way many jobs get filled today. It began as a platform for connecting employers with employees, essentially an online CV facility. Profiles on this platform are more complicated and advanced than the other social networks, as you’ve got sections for a Summary, Experience, Education and more. 

LinkedIn is a more specific social network: its users are predominantly male (58%) and are much older than any other networks (4 in 10 users are between 35 and 54) as well as being more affluent (49% are AB).  

Whilst retail and leisure businesses might find it more difficult to market themselves on this platform, a wide variety of self-employed creatives, consultants, and public management experts benefit from continued activity. 

How to get started? 

You can either create a powerful personal profile as an individual, or a company page that will market your business under a brand name. We recommend you give careful thought to your title, name and profile image. 

Before editing your profile, it will help you if you have a list of targeted keyword phrases in mind that you would want to come up in search. These are words and phrases that you think potential connections might actually type into a search. For example if you are beautician, make sure you use the word “beautician” in your profile, along with variations you think might work like “beauty’’ and ‘’treatment’’. 

Ensure your contact information at a minimum includes your email address, phone number and website / additional social media accounts.  You can also include instant messaging services such as Skype. 

If you’re hoping to get business from your LinkedIn profile, than you want to make sure that anyone can view it, you can do this by managing your public profile settings. 

Things to Remember

Before signing up to any social media site you need to evaluate what you hope you achieve by posting. For example is there a specific sentiment you hope to drive or do you simply want to remind audiences that you exist? 

Social media can swallow a lot of your time – more than most small business owners may want to put in. However, if used correctly, it can have a huge impact on your business. 

Choosing the correct social platform for you and your business can facilitate the opportunity to respond to customer questions promptly, educate your audience and network to potential consumers.  Businesses that practice social successfully will reap the rewards of customer satisfaction, deeper employee loyalty, improved brand reputation, and more importantly, increased revenues. 

Top tip: Ensure your messages are not muddled. Remember to stay on target with content that directly relates to your company’s culture. 

References

 Econsultancy 

 We Are Social

 Social Bakers

 Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram

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