The Pros & Cons of Google+ for Small Businesses
Posted by Megan Totka on February 10, 2014 in Business Management, Business Start Up Advice, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Networking [ 2 Comments ]
For big brands, Google+ is a good investment – but is it efficient for small businesses? With 300 million monthly active users, Google+ users extend beyond just technology gurus and marketers, to brands building their own Google+ empires. If you’re wondering how to successfully run your small business, Google+ may be one of the keys. It’s beneficial for businesses that are on a continual quest to elevate their brand and search ranking in a competitive environment. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Google+ as a small business.
The Benefits of Using Google+ For Small Businesses
Segment your audience. An obvious benefit of Google+ is that is allows businesses to share chosen content with specified audiences. Google+ makes it simple for businesses to segment their audiences and share content directly with certain groups of followers.
Network. Google+ for small businesses is a great way to network and gather data and research clients so you can better connect with them. The “About” section of a Google+ profile is a good place to learn more about your contact.
Host a hangout. Hangouts enable conversations via text or video – and they are a perfect opportunity for businesses to engage in a personal way with their clients, customers, and leaders. You can further explain products or answer questions during a hangout. It’s also beneficial when it comes to remote employees – it’s simple to hold meetings from any location. The interface affords immediate and easy access to share and collaborate on documents and spreadsheets.
Expand content distribution. Google+ is an excellent platform for expanding a business’ content distribution. While platforms like Facebook may take weeks to get a lot of page likes, small businesses often see that number of people Circle their business in a much shorter time.
Each post creates a new page. Every time the user makes a new post on Google+, a new web page is created exclusively for that post. That increases the likelihood that that page will show up in the Google Search results.
The Drawbacks of Using Google+ for Small Businesses
Many small business owners have a positive outlook for Google+, but there are some flaws that may cause small businesses challenges. Here are a few drawbacks:
Growth is small. While growth usually does occur, it’s typically slow and steady. Google+ makes it hard to grow a fan base since businesses can only add other businesses to their circle.
Social dashboards don’t integrate with Google+…yet. While many social media dashboards have integrated Google+ into their products, many don’t enable users to post to Google+. Some businesses manage their social presences from a single central location, and the lack of Google+ integration is a big barrier.
Administration isn’t a cakewalk. Pages must be created from an individual’s Google+ account, and admin or others users can’t be added to help manage the account. This may become an exaggerated issue with businesses who did not dedicate a specific team member to social media because it means several users must know one person’s personal account information in order to aid in adding posts.
While some small business owners still aren’t sure about Google+, many see it as the building of a personal brand and reputation. It’s another platform where consumers can see a business and become more familiar with it – just what many small businesses need to grow. If you’re looking for new ways to build a following around your business, Google+ is worth a shot.
How has Google+ been a benefit to your small business? Did you struggle at all with the implementation of this platform?
Photo via Flickr
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.