Google+ is not just a social network for B2B companies. It is part of a larger vision for the internet. Just a few years ago the internet was the online space where users would seek out information or purchase products. Social networking caused a shift to users connecting with other users. It has now become a hybrid of these two systems, one where users are still seeking out these products and information, but also conversing with one another about them (aka word-of-mouth). This is not just consumers talking about jeans and chewing gum, but B2B users talking about business purchases.
So, where is the best place to bring this trend to life? Where is the best place to get all of this wrapped up into one piece that is satisfying and engaging? Google+ Communities offers a clean, well-formatted destination where business relationships can blossom and stay consistent.
All of your communities, which are filled with like-minded users, are presented in an easy navigational format.
Need to build your communities list? Simply search for it.
Alongside users, you can specify exactly what kind of Communities you want.
Once inside your Community, it is now time to interact. And remember, listen first, then engage. No broadcasting allowed.
Why is it beneficial to someone who is looking to build a business relationship? Simple. Within these Communities you will find the exact people you want to converse with, and over time, if you continue to listen then engage, you will build valuable B2B connections.
What makes this different than LinkedIn Groups and Twitter Search? In comparison to LinkedIn Groups, Google+ is a much cleaner layout. There is also much less self-promotion and span. Twitter Search, albeit highly beneficial in finding specific influencers, does not capitalize on a group atmosphere to help solve problems and/or simply converse about a topic. Twitter is a great direct communication network, but it is not meant for roundtable discussions.
Google+ combines all of the direct internet access and search values with the multimedia functions of Facebook. This is a deadly combo when looking to share information. Sharing helpful blog posts in a Community will increase the number of +1’s, thus helping its rankings in Google Search.
Finally, consistent engagement in these communities is vital. Going in every once and a while will do absolutely nothing. But if engagement is consistent, relationships with B2B prospects will be built and eventually business can be exchanged through these relationships. And business is not the only thing that can be exchanged, knowledge can as well. For example, I am a Manager of Social Media Strategy, but I am always looking to learn more and hear from others in my industry. Google+ Communities supplies me with this learning fulfillment because it is allowing me to converse regularly with others in my field that have knowledge I might not have yet. Google+ Communities and learning go together like peanut butter and jelly.
So, set some time aside and start engaging. You will find yourself learning more by the day and building relationships with others in your industry. And since the B2B Community’s backbone is made of relationship building, Google+ Communities is the best route to take.