"Google+ is not dead"
- Brooke Jones Barnes (March, 2017)
I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t you crazy marketing people write an obituary for Google+ years ago? Next you’ll be telling me to dust off the ol’ MySpace account.”
Yes, it’s true. Many marketers claimed the death of Google+ shortly after it was born on June 28, 2011. Here at Orange Pegs Media, we have a different take on the platform for one very simple reason - It’s owned by Google! And they are FAR from dead.
In fact, Google+ can be an extremely powerful tool for generating leads if your company is investing in inbound marketing (more on that HERE). But it's NOT just for marketers - as a salesperson, YOU should be on there too!
Here are 3 key Google+ elements that you can leverage to add value to your social selling efforts.
1. Create & Cultivate Communities
Google+ Communities function much like Groups on the LinkedIn platform. There is a community for just about anything you can imagine: staffing, accounting services, software development, supply chain. You name it. As a sales professional, you can join communities to share your knowledge and get a pulse on your specific industry.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? It might make sense for you to cultivate your own community geared toward your specific interest. As a user, you can do this for free. Just remember, a community is only as strong as its moderator. < That’s you. However, you can invite colleagues and customers to take on the role of moderator as well.
TIP: Tell don’t sell. Use Google+ Communities to connect & engage with the members. Don’t just hop into a group & dump your sales pitch ever so often.
What about LinkedIn? Click HERE for some great tips on the world's largest business network.
2. Curate Shareable Collections of Knowledge
Collections are similar to Communities in that you can share information publicly, privately, or with a specific set of users. With Collections, you are the only one in control of the content and you can’t share contribution duties with other Google+ members.
You can create Collections of your content based on specific topics that are useful to your prospects and customers. Let’s say you are in the staffing industry. You can create a collection based around Hiring Trends for a specific industry & share it with target companies. For existing customers, create a special collection of tips and tricks for achieving success with your product or service. Let users know that each collection is exclusive, as if you curated it just for them.
Public collections allow you to share a link across other social media platforms and via email, allowing you to double dip your social selling efforts
TIP: Leverage content developed by your marketing team to create collections that are informative, interesting, and that link back to your company website.
Here are the key differences between a Community & a Collection:
TIP: Goolge+ has a feature called Circles that is similar to Twitter Lists. You can organize followers and prospects be the category of your choosing.
3. Get found on Google
This. This is my favorite part! All of your public Google+ activity is searchable via Google.
In a recent study, Google found that 71% of B2B researchers started looking with a generic search. (source Hubspot) That means that users head out to Google and search for basic terms related to a problem they are trying to solve or a product they are looking into. And good news for you, if you regularly share information on the platform your posts could come up in the search. Not only do searchers see your post, they also see your profile image. Google+ posts stand out from the other search results.
To be successful here, make sure that your posts are rich with keywords related to your solution. Your marketing team can provide you with a list of keywords.
TIP: Use the same professional profile image across social media channels. This way, if someone is connected to you via LinkedIn or Facebook, they will instantly recognize your familiar face in the search results.
As with any social media channel, a strong profile is important. Always include a professional headshot & cover photo, plus a compelling bio with information about you and your company. And never think it’s OK to set it & forget it. Social selling is all about engaging your audience and remaining consistently active on each platform you choose to utilize. The only way to be successful is to incorporate engagement into your daily routine.
Make sure you subscribe to the Orange Pegs Media blog to get automatic blog updates send straight to your inbox. Next time we’ll be talking about how to leverage your MySpace account and your long-term friendship with Tom to become your company’s top sales professional. JK. MySpace is dead. We'll actually be talking about Friendster or Classmates.com - where the REAL action is! (JK again)
Interested in learning how your company can support your sales efforts through social media? Download this free playbook today, and send it to somebody with decision-making authority who wants you to succeed!
Brooke BarnesHaving worked in the oil and gas industry for nearly 10 years, Brooke is well-versed in implementing digital communication strategies and identifying the most effective marketing channels for B2B brands. She is passionate about curating and telling stories through the writing and development of compelling content in the form of blogs, social media posts, web & email copy, and more.
Brooke currently works with Orange Pegs Media as a Content Creator Consultant where she maintains day-to-day and big picture operations that reflect the brand and corporate culture of our software development clients.
In her “free time,” she enjoys traveling the country with her husband Clayton, a pilot in the Air Force, and building an Instagram presence for their golden doodle, Francis.