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First things first – is Google+ right for your business?  You may be questioning the value and importance of Google+ in your business’ social media strategy, and rightly so:  As a business owner or manager, you have limited time available and want to ensure it is spent on high value activities.

At Spark Growth Partners we believe Google+ is still maturing as a platform and think it has value for some clients more than others.  We believe Google+ is helpful for clients who have a common business name and are having trouble getting found organically through search.  It does this by providing another boost (along with Yelp and Google Places) in helping your business rise to the top of search rankings for searches for your business name and keywords in your business name.  Google+ also has some interesting features, like Google Hangouts, which can be a great way for certain businesses to casually collaborate and communicate with clients using free video chat and screensharing (e.g., holding ‘office hours’ or other online discussions or presentations – keeping in mind the reliability and quality of the connection isn’t professional grade).

So if you ARE going to be using Google+, you should plan to share your content (e.g., blog posts, reposts of interesting articles, photos, videos, etc.) there, in addition to sharing it on your other social media properties like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others.  We typically work with clients to set up the best posting strategy for their business, with some apps set up as primary posting sites (e.g., Facebook, Google+), and others as ‘downstream’ apps (e.g., Twitter), with content flowing through to them automatically from the primary posting sites without any additional effort required.  We see Google+ as another place to post your core content to increase its reach.

With your posting integration and plan set up, you now need an analytics plan in place, to track sharing, engagement, traffic and leads generated from each of your channels.  This will help you can understand how your efforts are translating into results, and ultimately what your ROI is on the time and dollars spent on each channel.

This is where Google+ Ripples comes in.  Just like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and other platform analytics tools, Google+ Ripples is an analytics tool for Google+ that allows you to determine the reach and impacts of your content and posts.

Check out today’s article from Social Media Examiner to better understand how Google+ Ripples monitors and reports on how your content is shared and disseminated on Google+, and then start to monitor your Google+ sharing.

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