By Vallerie Malkin
Would you fall in love with Google+ if it boosted your business by 75%? Well, photographer Ed King did, and Google+ for Business did just that for 02809 Ed King Photography. King explained at the September 27 NIM event how the social media platform some take for granted is actually one of the best tools you can have in your marketing toolkit.
What makes Google+ a necessary part of the marketer’s toolkit is how much it improves a marketer’s reach. Similar to Facebook, but with added reach, Google+ Business Pages creates friend-circles with live hangouts, resulting in community conversations that have more longevity so your messaging can grow exponentially.
King explained that Google+ sites are indexed faster and your connections affect search results. In fact, when King made G+ a priority in his marketing campaign, he gained more than 2,000 followers!
With 15 years experience in business-to-business sales, marketing and working with clients such as Partners Healthcare & Brigham and Women’s Hospital, former chapter president of East Bay B.N.I., King became active in social media in 1990 when he worked with AOL and in a content development role for iVillage.
Although Google+ is a little over a year old, it’s gaining serious ground, according to King. It’s a Facebook-heavy world out there, and people grow complacent and think that Facebook is the only network they need but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Some people feel like they’re talking to themselves in G+ circles because they don’t understand the potential. In fact, live circles can improve the reach of a business easily if you know how to use them. If sites on G+ get indexed faster, and presence is about indexing … then G+ is well worth checking out, and King has the 22,000 new followers to prove it.
“My sales have increased dramatically,” says King. “It has opened doors which would never have existed without it.” An example is an online Google mentorship with a photographer who has worked with National Geographic, which has played a vital role in King’s overall online presence.
King was lucky enough to have five images selected as “Google Plus Photo Extract Photo of the day” this year, which boosted his actual print sales not only for those prints but others in his collections as well.
“I know some will say because it is a visual product that is easily shared but the idea is fresh interesting content, but I have even received feedback from one person who shares my work regularly, who mentioned to me that because of our connection with the shared images it has increased her overall reach.”
King’s two-year-old fan page slowly grew his fan base – 150 fans in two years – but when he started using Google Plus that number blossomed to a ripe 22,000 followers, plus he has added an additional 300 fans to Facebook in 6 months. King’s Twitter account was another marketing outlet that was slow to grow, although he said he uses Google+ a bit more. He was able to add several hundred quality contacts in the past few months. [ SUE, this part is unclear to me – does he mean quality contacts through Google+, or quality contacts through Twitter via Google+??? ]
“All of this growth has lead to an increase in revenue and opportunities like my recent shoot on the Tall Ship from New Bedford to Philly which has lead to more revenue,” says King, who was asked to teach an online course through a Google contact and who gave his first three-day workshop in Rhode Island this this past September through another Google contact.
As to whether Google+ is the whole marketing package, King ganders that it’s a strong possibility since he had been working other aspects of social media but until Google+ he never imagined that he could be this successful using social media.
King had some advice for the Newport hospitality industry: “Personally, if I was in the hospitality industry in Newport I would be hosting a weekly or bi-weekly hangout highlighting the area. This may be a slow grow at first but the live stream to Youtube makes this accessible for anyone at anytime they think about searching Newport as an example.”
Hanging out on Google+ takes patience, and good listening skills, suggests King, who took the time to learn how to use the multifaceted tool until he figured out exactly how to make it work for him.
King’s passion for Google+ piqued new interest for NIM marketers, and NIM founder Suzanne McDonald got right to work to put together a Google+ hangout of her own for NIMers who wanted the marketing success Ed King was able to achieve through G+, for 02809!
Take a look at the hot topics trending twitter about the event:
12MeterCharters says, “Write a complete intro in your Google+ business page. No. 1 complaint of users is incomplete intro.”
Sue_DesigEditor says, “Of 100 million active users, @02809Photo is ranked 626 in US but his Google+ has also boosted his other social platforms.”
Stay tuned for November NIM event at La Forge Casino Restaurant at 186 Bellevue Avenue. NIM looks forward to seeing you at the next function at La Forge Casino Restaurant at 186 Bellevue Avenue. http://www.laforgerestaurant.com! Easy parking across the street in the CVS parking lot. Don’t forget to register!