Although Google+ started slow, it now has more active users than Twitter, according to a 2014 GWI study. Google+ Local is a directory like Urban Spoon that is integrated with Google Maps and Google Search. A Local page allows your property to appear in Google’s “local block,” which is a collection of search results that are promoted to the top of the page for local queries, just below the first or second organic result. The advantage of having an active Google+ presence, even if you don’t see much engagement directly on the social network, is that you may see growth in organic search traffic because your property has increased visibility in Google Search.
It’s also important to remember that Google is an ambitious, rapidly-growing company, and the Google Business Page is the pillar of Google’s strategy in travel. Google+ Local now has a significant share of online traveler reviews. Also, with Google Maps taking more and more space on search results pages, well-managed and content-filled Business Pages will rise to the top of results. This is only Google’s first step into the realm of travel, so hoteliers should be ready today. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Google Plus for Hotels: Make a Business Page
Use your Business Page to engage with your guests and share items like photos, hotel news, and deals.
2. Create content that is unique to Google+
While you could get away with posting the same content to Google+ as you do to Facebook, to really succeed on the network, you should take advantage of some of its unique features. Post valuable content to relevant Community pages. Incorporate keywords to take advantage of the SEO factor. You can also customize your messages with bold, italic and strike through text. These styles can make your posts stand out while also making them impactful.
3. Add a +1 button to your website and blog
Encourage guests to add your hotel to their circles and share your content.
4. Remember your demographics
Many active users of Google+ are younger and largely male, so remember that you’ll be talking to Millennials more than Boomers. Target your messaging accordingly.