Social Media for Fast Lubes
When it comes to engaging with your customer base and attracting new business, there is no denying the power of social media. One can scarcely remember the days before social icons, promoted hashtags and “like us on Facebook” were commonplace on company websites and commercials. While most businessowners are already tweeting and posting updates on their Facebook pages, many are not familiar with Google+, the search engine giant’s contribution to the world of social media. More business-like than Facebook, more content-rich than Twitter and more visually engaging than LinkedIn, Google+ is a unique platform that offers several advantages to those looking to increase their web presence and engage with current and potential customers.
One of these advantages, and perhaps the most important, is its increasing integration with other services such as Google Search, Google Places, Google Maps and YouTube. “It’s a much more comprehensive social network than others,” said Jan Zimmerman, author of Web Marketing for Dummies, 3rd Edition and founder of watermelonweb.com. This integration of services allows for one of the most notable differences between Google+ and its social counterparts: its ability to dramatically increase your search engine optimization. “Having a Google+ account improves your ranking in search results,” Zimmerman said. Because it is a Google tool, an active Google+ account is more likely to get priority when Google analyzes websites in a search, and oftentimes, your profile can rank higher than your business’ website. “It’s particularly important now as more and more people do these types of searches on the go and on their mobile devices. When people do searches on their mobile devices, they see far fewer results than if they were to search on their desktop. So you absolutely want to be in the top results,” Zimmerman said. “Your Google+ profile includes your location. It allows reviews and plus one rankings where people can say they like you. So it’s got a little bit of Yelp in it as well.”
Google+ Terms to Know
Every social networking site has its own features and lingo. Facebook has “likes.” Twitter has “tweets” and “followers,” and Google+ is no different. Here are some basic terms to help you navigate your way through setting up your profile.
Circles: This is one of the biggest differentiators between Google+ and its social rivals. Circles lets you craft different messages for specific groups, allowing people to see targeted messages written specifically for them. “You can set up people into different circles,” Zimmerman said. “For example, maybe your fast lube shop has some corporate clients and you want to communicate one message to corporate and a different message to individual customers. You can put people in circles and control who sees what message.”