Marketing on Google+ can be a very rewarding, and cost effective venture for those with a limited marketing budget since Google+ is currently a very popular site amongst tech savvy people, such as myself. However, caution must be exercised so that your marketing efforts do not meet with a less than happy end. Here is how to market your personal brand on Google+ Plus.
To start off with, Google+ frowns upon using a name other than a person’s name for your Google+ page (this action may even get your account suspended which in turn may affect other Google products associated with your Gmail address). Therefore, the best businesses to market on Google+ are those where YOU are the product, or you are branding yourself as the lead of the business. Here are some businesses that would do well with marketing on Google+:
– Gurus / Experts
– Businesses Where YOU Are The Product Or Brand
Essentially, any business where you are branding yourself, or ones where you want people to think about your business whenever they see you would be just right. It should also be noted that Google+ works extremely well for those who wish to market themselves as an expert in a field (such as internet marketing, construction, health and fitness, etc.). With Google+ being a social network, it would only be logical that you talk about or discuss your business on your profile page. As long as your marketing efforts appear to be a natural extension of what you would do in real life everything should work out just fine. For an excellent example of “marketing without the appearance of marketing” check out Chris Pirillo’s Google+ profile page. There are many topics that could be covered when talking about marketing on Google+. In order to avoid information overload, this blog post will focus on using pictures in your profile, and in your photo gallery.
Whenever someone checks out your profile picture on your Google+ profile page, there should be two things they should be able to get from looking at it – what kind of image you project in real life, and how you want to position yourself, and your business in society. In regards to image, you want your picture to convey the kind of person people would meet when they stop by to visit you at your business. For example, lets imagine that we have three different consultants: a marketing consultant, an internet marketing consultant, and an investment advisor. For the marketing consultant, the picture that they would use should show that the consultant is sincere about their business without appearing too serious or dogmatic. However, since a marketing consultant has to work to stay on the cutting edge of the marketing industry, the profile picture should also reflect a spirit of innovation. In order to show an innovative side, the consultant could hold up an unusual marketing product that people would want to know more about. The overall look would be something that catches the eye without going overboard.
The internet marketing consultant, on the other hand, would take a slightly different approach in regards to choosing their profile picture. The overall message their profile picture needs to convey would be “I can help you make your business a huge success on the internet”. An unusual background image might work well, or a thought provoking background setting showing where a potential client could end up if they followed the advice of the internet marketing consultant. Some profile pictue ideas for the internet marketing consultant would be: the consultant shown sitting in a lawn chair on the beach at a lavish resort, or behind the wheel of an expensive automobile, or perhaps standing on the patio of an exquisite mansion, and so forth.
For the investment advisor, the picture should convey trust. The words on the profile page will help to describe what the consultant can do for their clients, but the picture, at a glance, should instill a feeling of honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness without being boring. The profile picture is definitely important, but what is also almost equally important are the pictures in your photo gallery.
Even though you’ll mostly be using your Google+ profile to promote your business, you will still need pictures in your photo gallery to help give people a REASON to visit your profile (unless they already know you). With Google+ you can choose which pictures are displayed at the top of your profile, which will be helpful in giving you something that people can make comments on. In regards to what type of pictures to use in your photo gallery, let’s look back at our three fictious examples. For the marketing consultant, it would probably be best to use pictures of ads that the marketing consultant either created, or ads that have been very successful regardless of who put them together. In the description, the marketing consultant can describe what makes that particular ad effective or not effective, or perhaps a funny caption or annecdote.
The internet marketing consultant would want to add some interesting and / or funny pictures to their Google+ photo gallery, but this would also be a great time to put in some useful diagrams. For instance, a chart explaining the latest evolution of the online marketing sales funnel which shows how consumers use the internet to research, and ultimately choose which businesses they do business with would be a great picture to add to the internet marketing consultant’s photo gallery.
The investment consultant could put up charts, and graphs to show where the stock market will be within the next 10 years, return rates for basic investments, or even a simple graph showing how much money someone could have made if they had made a $10,000 investment at 20, 30, or 60 years old. Also, since the investment consultant is wanting to convey a feeling of trust, integrity, and stability, it might be wise to put up a few family photos as well. Professionally done group family photos tend to create an aura of stability – even if that is not actually true in real life.
Once the pictures have been uploaded to the Google+ photo gallery, you can start posting links to your pictures as status updates using headings to make it all look natural. For example, using the “$10,000 investment over time” picture as an example, a link to the picture could be posted in the investment consultant’s status bar with a headline that reads “If only people realized how much money they could have saved up if they started saving earlier…”. Also, creating status updates will make it much easier for others to know what kind of content you have available on your profile, and hopefully entice them to make comments on your pictures. The comments made by those people will be available for viewing by the people in their circles, who will also make comments. All of these comments will eventually lead to driving more traffic to your profile. As illustrated in the above scenario, a very strong domino effect can easily be created by simply posting pictures, and making mentions of those pictures in your status updates.
You can also post links to pictures from other websites in your status box to accomplish the same thing. They do not have to be pictures directly related to what you do. If you can find something thought provoking or controversial, that will work as well. Just be sure it is something that you wouldn’t mind being associated with (remember: Google+ may be a social network, but its still a social network run by Google – the world’s largest search engine at the present time).
The general idea with pictures on your profile is that they should get your point across without having to spend a lot of time explaining them, even on the pictures that are in your gallery. People should be able to understand why you have that picture there with or without the short summary. With that being said, controversial pictures should be mainly used to draw attention to your profile, and therefore should just be picture links shared in your status updates. Use other less provocative pictures within your photo gallery to build and support your branding. This, of course, does not apply to you if the business image that you want to project is a controversial one. Either way, use your photo gallery to house pictures that directly reflect your business. Remember: the cute puppy in the window gets the people into your store, but what actual things your store has to offer should be the main topic of conversation.
If done right, you can drive tons of highly targeted traffic to your profile with just a few simple pictures, and status updates. Just keep in mind – a picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure that the pictures that you choose to utilize in your marketing efforts say the right things about you, and your business.
Disclaimer: Please note: If your Google+ account is suspended for ANY reason, it may adversely affect your other Google related products (ex: your corresponding Youtube account could also get suspended).
Don’t forget to add me on Google+.
Read What I’ve Written About Google+
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How to Get Your Google+ Posts Indexed in Google
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How to Remove Circle Counts on Google+
How to Promote Your Personal Brand on Google+
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How to Increase Your Followers on Google+