Social Media is definitely a big thing right now.  Especially when it comes to small business.  There are lots of great social networking sites online that allow you to be social with your customers and help you keep track of your brand.  Just when you thought you’d tried all of the top social networking sites, Google+ enters the building.  This new network is Google’s latest attempt to challenge Facebook and Twitter to Social Media supremacy.  Take a look at the Google’s official introduction to Google+ video by clicking this link:

Google+ Project

Currently, Google+ does not allow business profiles (if you try to create one, the profile will be deleted promptly by the Google+ fairies).  This means you need to have a “work around” if you want to promote your business.  If you are considering how to use Google+ to market your product or services, there are a few basic guidelines you should follow that would apply to any new social networking platform.

 1. Before you dive head first into Google+, you should step back and observe how others in your industry are using it to market their brand.  How are they reaching their target audience? Make note of the industry leaders, as you will definitely want to add them to one of your circles.

2. Do a little preliminary research and find out what’s being talked about in your niche market on Google+.  As of today, there isn’t a way to search topics in Google+  but you can use the regular Google search engine using these search parameters:

>”SEARCH TOPIC” site:plus.google.com<

What are they searching for? What makes them happy? What ticks them off?

3. Participate in conversations and offer your expert knowledge when appropriate. If you’ve followed steps 1 and 2, you know what your niche market wants, it’s just up to you to provide it.

The social media realm is going to continue to grow.  If you are having doubts as to the significance of Google+, keep this in mind:  The Google+ network reached 20 million users in the first three weeks.  It took Facebook six months to reach 30 million users.  With that type of growth, small business owners probably shouldn’t ignore it.

Already on Google+? How are you using it to market your brand? Leave your comments below.  Click here to add me to your circles!