Just over a year ago, resident social media expert and all-around good guy Tim Haran explored the “new kid on the social media block”, Google Plus, in this very thorough and informative What’s Up, USANA? blog post. There’s a good chance you may have missed it the first time around (due to its proximity to Convention and the other goings on in the summer months) so I encourage you to read (or re-read, as the case may be) this post because it contains a lot of great information that acts as an excellent primer on the topic.
Although Google Plus (or G+ as we’ll call it) hasn’t quite become the social media phenomenon many were predicting, it has achieved over 100 million active users and continues to grow. Despite this growth, many people are often confused about what G+ is exactly and wonder why or how they should use G+.
Many see G+ as simply another social destination that is similar to Facebook and other Web 2.0 portals that we are used to, but it’s not. G+ is more of an online hub that connects all of Google’s services that many of us, whether we realize it or not, use already. For example, a huge number of web users utilize Google for search, share and view videos on YouTube, follow news feeds, access email and place ads to grow their business and all Google-provided services. G+ is Google’s offering is a portal to make the Internet accessible through their services — bringing the Internet to you rather than making you go out to it. A common misconception is that Facebook and G+ is an “either/or” proposition. They are very different; enjoy each for what they offer.
So now to the purpose of this post…I’d like to offer up three reasons why you should be using G+, and how it can benefit your USANA business:
Follow, Follow Me
Unique Engagement Opportunity
Unlike Facebook, you don’t necessarily need a lot of followers to have a great experience on G+. The most important thing on G+ is who you follow, not who follows you. Much like Twitter, G+ does not require a reciprocal “like” or “follow” in order for you to make your stream come alive with news and updates from those you are interested in following. It’s quite simple to engage with others through their posts even if they are not currently following you. For example, you can simply follow the official USANA Health Sciences feed through G+ and get a lot of great updates and information.
Engage to Make New Contacts
When you engage with others they will start engaging with you and follow you if they share your interests, opinions and passions. If what you post is of interest, people will start to follow you and engage back and then share you and your posts with others in their own circles. The “Find and Invite” feature is a great option if you’re having trouble thinking of whom to invite. Check out the Find and Invite tab when you’re editing your circles for some suggestions.
Become a Thought Leader
Ask yourself these questions: What do I want to share, why and with whom? What is important to me and why do I engage? Anyone can add you and you can add anyone on G+. You can post your thoughts publicly, set them to private, or share them only within specific circles. A neat part about public posts is that they get indexed by Google and will come up in searches on Google search. This affords you another space online to be a thought leader and reach out to a broader audience — another chance to make meaningful contacts to grow your business.
Build Your USANA Business
Google+ allows you to organize followers into circles — anything from real-life friends, co-workers or members of your USANA organization. You can choose which groups to share information with that will allow you to maintain privacy and control the flow of information. As a USANA business-builder, you can use circles to identify to target information specifically for those users who would find it the most useful and relevant.
Hangouts are video chat groups that allow you to talk to up to 10 people at once. This video conferencing function is totally private and 100% free. +Hangouts gives you a fantastic opportunity to connect directly with members of your downline, customers or potential new enrollees. One-on-one video chats are ideal for offering a more personalized approach to your business-building efforts if you’re not able to meet in person. Group video chats are a great opportunity for you to conduct exclusive workshops or training for your organization.
Build The USANA Brand
USANA is dedicated to building the strongest, most recognizable and positive brand possible for its Associates. That extends to our online reputation and SEO efforts. By participating in G+, you can increase your own organizations’ reach and reputation while boosting the popularity and presence of USANA throughout the web.
Search Results +1
By participating in G+, you can influence search results. From the Google database, we learn:
“+1 helps people discover relevant content — a website, a Google search result, or an ad — from the people they already know and trust. The +1 button appears on Google search, on websites, and on ads. For example, you might see a +1 button for a Google search result, Google ad, or next to an article you’re reading on your favorite news site. Adding the +1 button to pages on your own site lets users recommend your content, knowing that their friends and contacts will see their recommendation when it’s most relevant — in the context of Google search results. In addition, a user’s +1’s appear on the +1 tab of their Google Profile. While +1’s are always public, users can choose to make the +1 tab visible or invisible on their profile.”
You can add code to your blog, website or other web properties by clicking here. USANA has plans to add features like this to all of its web pages — this will give you the opportunity to +1, like and share our content with your networks and followers and influence search results. +1 can also help your search results — whether it is your USANA web-hosting site, a blog or something else. Again, from Google:
“Content recommended by friends and acquaintances is often more relevant than content from strangers. For example, a movie review from an expert is useful, but a movie review from a friend who shares your tastes can be even better. Because of this, +1’s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query. This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, and we’re constantly tweaking and improving our algorithm to improve overall search quality. For +1’s, as with any new ranking signal, we are starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality.”
Down the line there may be more Google Plus-related implications to search and SEO — but it’s nearly impossible to guess what Google will do next. For now, get on G+, follow the USANA page, follow the tips above and use this tool to extend the depth and breadth of your USANA business-building efforts.