Guest post from Brad McCarty, a music and tech junkie, managing editor of The Next Web, one of the world’s largest online publications that delivers an international perspective on the latest news about Internet technology, business and culture.
For the past few years, businesses have been hearing all about Facebook when it comes to having an online presence where they can meet their customers. But a few months ago, Google came into the picture with Google+ and there's plenty of evidence to suggest that perhaps it's the better way to go for companies looking to establish themselves online.
It wasn't so very long ago that Google really started pushing for businesses on its social network, introducing Pages and Direct Connect. What's probably most interesting about Google's approach to social business is not so much what happens inside of Google+ itself, but rather what users of Google.com are likely to see.
Established companies, within different fields, are going to be able to take advantage of Google's heavy use of keywords related to their respective areas of business. For instance, if your customers have been talking about your chimney sweep business on Google+, their friends are very likely to see your company name show up in search results, in Google's "Search + Your World" initiative. An example is shown below:
Google is relying on customers talking about brands in order to bring more relevant search results to all users. For businesses, this is a potential boon that Facebook simply can't offer. It's almost impossible for your company's Facebook page to show up in search results unless someone is specifically looking for it. The prioritized, highly-visible results offer a powerful potential to the brands that are choosing to engage on Google services.
But it's not just a matter of being found, it's also highly important that your company is taking the right steps once that connection is made. Google+ offers a suite of tools to help you do just that. From live video chats to the ability to have customized information for different locations, there are huge possibilities with the service.
I took a closer look at the numerous aspects of Google+ for small business in my free webinar, presented by the Verizon Small Business Center. I spent about an hour discussing them and took questions throughout the webinar. So watch this webinar when you have some time to learn what Google+ can do for small businesses. Click here to watch the replay or go to http://www.brighttalk.com/r/rxD.
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