Defense contractors who use the new Google+ social network can develop deeper relationships with prospects, customers and influencers by interacting on multiple levels, including video chat.
Google+ is a social network that already has 40 million users and now allows businesses to create their own pages. This is a challenge to Facebook, and unlike Google Buzz that has been shut down, Google+ is here to stay and will become a pillar of the online marketing landscape.
In a Hubspot whitepaper on the features, benefits and best practices of using Google+ for businesses are outlined. This outlines what what defense contractors should know:
With Google+ businesses can upload and share content, and users can endorse (called "+1"), post comments and upload photos.
The biggest difference vs. Facebook is the Google+ "Hangouts" feature which enables companies to interact with fans, prospects, customers, influencers and potential hires through video conference calls.
Dennis Troper, Product Management Director, Google+ Pages:
“We want to help you make the same kinds of lasting connections with your customers online the
way you can in real life.”
Google+ will have enormous influence over how a defense contractor's website gets traffic from Google's search engine. Here's how:
- Improved intelligence - Google+ will enable the search engine to get a much deeper insight into how people share and discuss things on the Internet.
- Improved search results quality - Search results will now be harder to "cheat" because Google can now more easily root out spammers.
- The +1 button - This is Google's version of the share or tweet button, and based on Hubspot research, "websites that use Google's +1 button generated 3.5 times more traffic from Google+ than websites that don't have the button installed."
- Improved click-through rates - One of the benefits of the +1 votes is that people searching on Google will be able to see how popular or useful a link has been to others, without having to click on to the site.
- Direct connect - Searchers looking to find a company's Google+ page can put a "+" in front of the company name and go straight to a company's Google+ page, skipping over the normal search results page.
From a marketing standpoint, here are 5 things defense contractors should do with a Google+ page:
- Share photos - Google+ is engineered for sharing images, even more so than Facebook.
- Add recommended links - Include links to blogs and offers for whitepapers to drive more traffic and leads.
- Promote your Google+ page - Cross promotion is crucial to building a strong Google+ following.
- Encourage sharing of your posts - Just like asking "please retweet," this will increase the virality of your content.
- Analyze traffic and leads from Google+ - That which can be measured can be improved!