9 ways Google+ can help your business

By Jennifer Lonoff Schiff, CIO |  Unified Communications, Google+

Google+ Hangouts is particularly useful for those organizations with workers in different offices. "I manage employees and freelancers in North America, Asia and Europe," explains Casey Armstrong, partner and COO, webbbROI, an online marketing business. "Through Google+ Hangouts, we are able to collaborate in real-time through screen sharing, on Google Docs, and via video chat. In addition, even if I'm on the move, I can video chat through my iPhone on Google+. Talent is everywhere and Google+ removes the location barrier."

4. Get your message to the right audience with just a click. "Circles are invaluable," state Ross Kimbarovsky and Mike Samson, co-founders of crowdSPRING. "Think of circles as your customer groups. Most businesses will have a variety of different customer groups and sometimes you want to communicate separately with each group," they explain.

With Google+, you can put customers into different groups or "circles" (by geography, by age, by interest) and then easily communicate with each circle separately, or with multiple circles at the same time. "For example, we created a group of loyal customers. We can customize offers and deals specifically for those customers without sending the same offers generally to the rest of the world or to other customers."

5. Free focus groups. Why pay for focus groups when you can use Google+ to get answers to questions or elicit customer feedback? That's what SEER Interactive, a search marketing firm, recently did. SEER used its Google+ page to host an hour long Q&A session covering SEO and PPC topics. "The result was a lively conversation on Google+ with more than 100 comments over the course of an hour," says Wil Reynolds, founder, SEER Interactive.

6. Good for B2B marketing. If you are looking to connect with other businesses, Google+ Your Business is designed to help. "We have found Google+ to be useful for acquiring new customers," explains Mike Rheaume, co-founder, SnapKnot, an online wedding photographer directory.

"Google+ is visual and participatory, meaning that photographers can easily share and comment on others' work. For us, this means it's easy to share photography-related content and connect with individual photographers [SnapKnot's target customers] beyond the major social media tools like Twitter and Facebook." Since using Google+, SnapKnot has achieved a high member conversion rate - and Rheaume considers it an excellent B2B marketing tool, especially for visual- and/or content-heavy businesses.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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