5 reasons your business needs to consider Google+

By Jesse Stay

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Dec. 3 2012 7:00 a.m. MST

You could be utilizing Hangouts to build one-on-one relationships with your audience. At the same time, it's a great tool for sharing conversations you have with partners or customers with the world. Take advantage of this as an opportunity to make your brand more real to your customers, potentially building loyalty and sales in the long-term.

Google+ search and trending terms

Google's strength has always been search. That doesn't stop with Google+'s main home page, plus.google.com. When you search for things on Google+, you are brought into a conversation. Right within the search results you can post updates, and anyone else searching for the same thing will see what you just posted, without you even needing to post anything within the terms you searched for.

Here's an example: Let's say you're watching the Super Bowl. Search for "Super Bowl" on Google+. Immediately you'll see search results of everyone talking about the Super Bowl on Google+. Now post something about your favorite football player. Without even mentioning "Super Bowl" in your update, everyone else who was searching for "Super Bowl" will also see your update. This turns into a great opportunity to meet new people talking about similar things, and provides a great way for your brand to insert itself into a conversation.

Google+ also supports Hashtags and "Trending Terms," which are Twitter's way of showing the top things people are talking about any given time. In the upper-right of Google+, you'll see a list of terms people are currently talking about. Click on any of these and it will return the search results for the conversation going on at that time.

Here's the valuable part to you: because Google+ is not yet as big as Twitter, it should be easier for your business to trend across the 100 million monthly active users of Google+. So try to push your customers over to Google+ to participate in the conversation instead of Twitter and you'll see much better results in your potential for trending on the site than you would Twitter.

As a social strategist, to me Google+ is a given in my tools of choice in growing brand presence and conversions for the companies I work with. If your business wants "the edge" on the market, you should be considering this as one of the top tools in your tool chest for growing your presence on the Web. Google+ is here, and it's here to stay — your business should be using it now.

Want to know how to do these things and more? Check out Jesse Stay's newly released book, "Google+ Marketing For Dummies," available in stores and on Amazon now. Stay is currently director of social media for Deseret Digital Media.

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