Thursday, February 21, 2013

Driving Hospitality Revenue With Social Media - Part 5 - Google+

Launched in June 2011 to compete with Facebook, Google , the ubiquitous search engine’s social network, has struggled to catch on with both the public and brands.  However, interest in and use of Google has grown recently and the search giant has also begun implementing new features. Features such as Google Communities are designed to make the network more useful to both individuals and businesses. Google ’s growth has now made having a presence there essential for hotels, while the SEO gains from being on Google’s social network will prove beneficial as well. Hotels can receive the most benefit from Google by following a few guidelines.

1. Set Up A Business Page
When Google was first launched, it was only for individuals but it soon allowed brands to set up their own business pages. The rules for pages are different from profiles, most significantly in that business pages cannot “Circle” and communicate with profiles until those individuals have chosen to circle the page. Circles on Google work in the same way as “liking” on Facebook or “following” on Twitter. This means it is vitally important for success on Google to include 1 buttons on your hotel’s website and ask to be included in their circles. An advantage of Google for hotels is the lack of an algorithm along the lines of Facebook’s Edgerank. This means anybody who has included your hotel in his or her circles will see everything you post.

2. Use Google For Longer Posts
Google is best utilized for longer posts that might be too long for Facebook and certainly too much for Twitter. Use the platform to give opinions which will drive engagement with the circles your hotel is in. Google is a true social blogging network, unlike Twitter or even Facebook. Encouraging interaction by asking questions and seeking opinions, while sharing lots of images, is what this network is really about.

3. The New Google Communities Feature
Similar to Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, Google Communities is a gathering place for people with similar interests to share information about their specific passions. Found via the left hand side bar and hosted through Google , existing Communities can be easily searched for new Communities can be created as well. This feature provides an excellent way to keep up with hospitality industry information and engage with industry leaders and peers.
The expanding Google social network offers hotels exciting opportunities for attracting new guests while interacting with its audience and industry. In the next part in this series, we will examine the up and coming Pinterest network.

Written and produced in beautiful Naples, Florida by Visit today to get your free trial subscription to our Social Media Marketing Service.

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