Why do you need a Google+ page? I get asked by agents on a regular basis about where to start online marketing. To be honest, I am biased toward Facebook and Content Marketing through blogging. I really believe if you have someone in your office that can be committed to curate and create content, and your current website allows you to post content (if not, please change) do it. Content marketing has the ability to let you compete against big marketing insurance budgets. You can dominate search in your geography and become an expert in whichever insurance niches you write.
I love Facebook because I know it. It was my first social network, and I have helped agents setup pages, find content, create contests, etc. Even if your agency is not on Facebook, I guarantee the majority of the people in your office are on FB, and everyone has a basic familiarity with it. The learning curve is small because someone you know, if not yourself, knows and understands Facebook. All you need to do is to learn the marketing side and adapt to your business.
Over the last couple months, I have seen the power of Google Plus. It is incredibly versatile, feels more professional, and engagement is easy. I found creating active engagement on G+ is much easier than it is on Facebook.
So why should you have a G+ page?
1. It is Google. You can’t fight city hall. If you spend any time in online social media circles, you are bound to find people announcing and celebrating the demise of Google+, however, these voices are dying out.
Google will not let this network die. It continues to grow. They have integrated a Skype-like feature called Google Hangouts that allow group video chat. Functionality continues to increase.
Admit it, when you search on the web. You probably go to Google, and if you don’t you call web-searching “googling”. They own search, and being part of their system will only help you.
2. SEO, SEO, SEO. If you don’t know this term yet, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basiclly it the practice of doing things online that will help your customer find you. When people search for you, what you sell, and where you sell, can they find you online.
Sadly, many of agents I work with can’t even be found online even if their name is entered into the search bar. Google+ can change that and change it quickly.
Google places G+ activity into their search results, and probably gives greater weight to this network versus posts created in other networks.
3. Your activity will have wings, and won’t die quickly. If you post on Facebook, you must post frequently, primarily because your post only has a shelf-life of about a day. After that people will no longer see it. It won’t show in their news feed anymore.
With Google+, your posts become part of search, and live longer on the web.
I have seen this for myself. Weeks after I have posted on Google+, I can still get traffic from that post.
How do you start?
Ok, now that you are convinced that it is worth jumping into this network, how difficult is it to setup a page. It’s incredibly easy. I just set one up for one of my agent’s in about five minutes.
- Go to Google+ for business.
2. If you don’t have a Google account then you need to create one. Basically, you are just setting up a Gmail account. This is not hard, and the system will prompt you how to do it.
3. Add a profile photo if you have one, but this is not necessary for the page.
4. Choose your category.
5. Add Info. Post basic information about your business including office hours, and you are finished.
Google gives you the ability to share your page with contacts, and this could help jump-start your network.
If you don’t have G+, run, don’t walk to your favorite browser and set it up!
P.S. Bonus Content: Having the G+ page will help, but ultimately if you decide to make this part of your ongoing social media marketing, you need to post. Here are a couple extra tips:
1. Multiply your work. If you are using a social network today, like Twitter or Facebook, replicate those same posts on G+.
2. Streamline your posts. Use a scheduler to get your posts from one spot, to multiple networks. I use and love buffer. Buffer let’s you post something once, and then it schedules the posts for you on various networks. With Buffer, you can use Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+.
3. Suggested Resources. There’s a lot more you can do with G+ to create engagement and increase your brand presence. The quickest way to pick up these skills is to check out Social Media expert and fellow insurance professional, Ryan Hanley. He has written extensively about G+.