Your brand’s reputation is nothing to be trifled with. A few bad reviews can wreak havoc on your reputation and on business at the national and local level. Today’s intense focus on social media makes it essential to have a clear brand strategy.
National brands, distributors and dealers face a particularly difficult task managing their brands. They must establish easy to understand and follow brand guidelines and then ensure each location nationwide is following those standards. No easy task to be sure.
On the bright side, building your brand on Google+ can have far reaching values. The more influence you gain on Google+, the more SEO value you build for your brand, your locations and your website.
Check out these strategies for building your brand on Google+.
When creating your Account on Google+, it is best to create it with a primary Gmail account. From there you can start your personal profile page and create a business page. You can have up to 50 business pages targeting individual locations, product lines or service units. For example, Ford might create a page for the overall business and also a page for Ford Mustangs. Your business page should link to your website home page and your social media pages. Be sure to include keywords in your bio and use a cover photo sure to grab the attention of consumers.
Your Google+ Local page is essential to your brand strategy. Local pages rank higher in searches and provide a great way to disseminate detailed information about your location including hours of operation, photos of your location and/or team, maps, and directions. Encourage your customers to leave reviews and to +1 your location. All this helps to get you to the top of the results page for local searches.
Circles allow you to organize your contacts into groups of related individuals. Potential circles include customers, vendors, employees, and VIPs. You can communicate to all circles at once (a public post) or to each circle individually (only to VIP customers). Add connections to your circles and encourage people to add you to theirs.
Any posts to your Google+ page can be directed at individual circles or the public. Public posts will garner the most SEO value. Include hash tags in your post to increase exposure and gain +1s. If your post mentions someone in your circles, be sure to tag them. Posts have no limits on size, can be formatted as needed and can include video and file downloads.
If you keep a regular blog, it is important to post links to your blog in Google+. Posting links to your blog will increase SEO rankings and backlinks. If you don’t maintain a blog, use Google+ as your blog. There is value in adding long posts to your Google+ page. Just make sure the information you are sharing is resource rich and includes links. Be sure to hash tag the entry for added value.
Hangouts are online video chats that help you connect with your customers or other groups. Up to 10 people can chat during a hangout. You can share your screen and provide access to Google Docs. If you use On Air, you can live stream your hangout and Google+ will record it. You can then post it to YouTube to share it with the world. This is a great way to increase the value of webinars and other events.
Your Google+ dashboard can become a wealth of reference information for you. Create a brand dashboard and view your Google Alerts, saved searches, articles you +1, and monitor your brand, influencers and the competition.
Social Search Strategies
Be sure to link your website to your Google+ account for a variety of benefits one of which is the Direct Connect feature. Direct Connect allows visitors to add you to their circles automatically.