People don't run around naked. It's socially unacceptable, impolite, crude — yes, we all wish we could, but it's just not okay.
Here's what I'm getting at.
A lawyer, doctor, real estate agent, copywriter, or any other business professional who doesn't use Google plus is doing online business naked. Let me explain.
We don't wear clothing just to stay warm or be polite — it's become an important form of communication. If you don't think that's true, imagine what people would think if you walked into your office wearing a clown suit (if you're a clown, refer back to the nudist example). Whether you want to or not, this decision would be interpreted as a statement — a fashion statement, and a bold one at that. Probably bold enough to get you fired.
Social media has quickly become one of the most important forms of communication for business professionals, and in today's lightning-fast age of digital communication, it will make your career or break it.
There's two reasons you need quality social media optimization:
- Personal brand communication
The more people you communicate with, the better your business, as long as your communication is effective. Google Plus is a quiet giant in the realm of social media, and is so powerful in fact, that failing to take advantage of it can keep you from hundreds of thousands of views and thus potential clients.
USA Today reports that there are over 300 million Google Plus users.
Out of the top 50 US law firms, 94% of them have a Google plus profile. Enough said.
Let's talk about optimizing your Google plus profile.
1. Be active
One of the most important things you can do with your Google plus profile, is to stay active. Every chance you can get, update your profile with the latest information for your business. Don't leave any stone unturned; if you don't have an image, upload one, if you don't have a solid description of who you are and what you do, write it. Google plus pages need to be a buzzing center of activity. Put up as many pictures and videos as you can, connect with other people on Google Plus, and fill in the contact information with every email, number, and other forms of social media possible.
2. Stay credible
Google's job is to give searchers the most relevant and valuable information they can for each and every search they make. As such, it's also their responsibility to keep low quality information far from their users. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when optimizing your Google plus page, is filling it with inconsistent information. For instance, if you're a chiropractor today, but used to be a massage therapist, and you still have old social media pages stating that you're a massage therapist, you won't look as credible to Google, and thus your page rank will suffer. The same applies for your business address.
3. Keep people on your page
Your Google Plus page should be like a spider web. When people stick to your page like a fly in a web, this sends a signal to Google that your page is important to people, and you'll rank higher because of it. The way you weave your Google Plus web is by crafting compelling, relevant, and interesting content — make your Google Plus page interesting! Some business professionals hire copywriters and SEO copywriters to paint a masterful word picture for your business, and that may be worth it. But if you're strapped for cash don't worry, with a little time and research, you can make your bootstrapped page sing. Look at your competition's Google Plus page. Copy their strengths and avoid their weaknesses.
4. Start a Review Collection
Testimonies — real ones by the way — are vital because that's how people shop today. When you go to Amazon to buy a polka dotted popple, you look for the best reviews. People reviewing their purchases are honest, sometimes brutally so, and that's what we like to see — unadulterated, no holds barred, blunt, smack-across-the-face honesty that gives us the confidence to spend our hard earned money. The same applies to business professionals — people want to see that other people think you're trustworthy, capable; worth their money. The benefit of a collection of reviews is double-edged; not only do you gain credibility and valuable keywords from other people's input, you also keep potential clients on your page — because this is what people spend the most time on — reading your reviews.
So there you have it. Take a little time to optimize your Google Plus page, or even hire someone to do it if you have some extra marketing change jingling in your pocket. Believe me, you won't regret claiming some Google Plus online real estate; sow some seeds in this digital world and watch your client list grow!
Photo by Intel Free Press: Image Source