On the Plus Side – A look at Google+ with Alan Egan

alan_egan

 

Guest post by Alan Egan – RentMoreWeeks.com

 

 

google_plus_with_alan_eganIn this article we are talking social media and Heather has asked me to share some tips on the ins and outs of Google plus.

There's a lot to Google Plus so I thought that I would share some basic reasons for signing up and getting involved and a top tip or two to highlight some of the benefits of Google's social layer.

 

The basics…

Before we talk about the platform itself we need to take a look at the most basic reason for using it in the first place…

google-logo

It's Google!    

 

You will hear various social media experts tell you that content is king but I will tell you this
Search is God.

You can create the best content in the world but if no one sees it you have wasted your time.

Facebook may have 1.3 billion users but it is a closed system and it hides most of its pages from Google so if you use it to promote your rental not many people get to see those posts but worse still, they are trapped within FB itself and they won't show up in search.

When you post an article on Google Plus it is indexed by the search giant and it can be found within the internet of things both immediately and for ever.

No other social platform can match that claim.

As someone who has spent years trying to impress Google I'm certainly going to accept an invitation to sit at it's social table.

I would be foolish not to.

I want to share what I am writing with Google and as many others as possible.

This is so important that I'm going to mention it again…

The main reason for being on Google Plus is because it's Google!

tweetAwesome guest post from @rentmoreweeks talking about adding #GooglePlus to your #VacationRentalMarketing Plan

 

It’s pretty easy…

The next reasons for using the platform are because it’s pretty to look at and it’s very easy to use.

First there’s the pretty aspect. We all live in a graphic hungry world. Everywhere we go we are surrounded by image based advertising and there’s a very good reason for that – It works. We are attracted to colour and beauty.

Over the course of the last few years the entire planet has become used to being served phone, tablet and screen sized images with some accompanying text and a link or two.

Note: You can see the amazing engagement that you can get on G+. This fun photo has received 71 plus ones, been reshared 13 times and has 10 comments. That doesn’t happen when you only advertise your property? There’s a fair amount of irony here too as G+ allows you to build a flock of followers and lets you shepherd them like no other platform (more on this later).

 

 

 

 

Property owners in the vacation rental sector have been slow to adopt graphic lead campaigns but G+ is optimised for this type of content. Those that have a social media strategy with a glossy bias are stealing a march on those that don’t.

sitges-holiday-rental-apartment-spainNote: “What’s on” advertising like this post is far more effective than property advertising when it comes to enticing potential guests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, it’s just easy to use. It couldn’t be easier. If you can use Facebook, and let’s face it we all can, then you can use Google Plus straight out of the box. No Lessons needed.

Sign up, write a post, add an image and share. Job done.

 

But before you do…

Here’s a top tip ~ Consider this,

The most important thing to bear in mind here is what you call your Google + VR property page.

There are many ways to help the search engines and potential guests for that matter.

 

Let’s start at the beginning!

Imagine that a potential guest has just sat down in front of her computer and is about to start searching for a holiday.

She is going to type something like this;

(Size of)(Type of property) Rental (The area)(The state/ county/ country)

Or something similar. So the search will read something like this;

4 bed villa for rent Orlando Florida

Or

2 bed cottage rental Algarve Portugal

Or

Sea view holiday condo Antigua

Please read that again. This is the most fundamental aspect of holiday rental marketing.

Why an I telling you this?

As I said, this is the most important aspect of all your rental advertising.

You need to cover these MAJOR search titles, or keywords, in the title of your Google Plus page. Otherwise Google and the other engines and all of the potential guests they would like to send you won’t be able to find your property page.

If your property is called Rose Cottage that’s a nice touch but it’s not going to get you found by Google or anyone else.

No one starts to search for a holiday by typing “Rose cottage”.

Naming your page Rose cottage, or similar, is search suicide.

Do not, under any circumstances use the name of your house in the name of your Google Plus page.

 

Under the hood…

Now there is a lot more to G+ than meets the eye but the extra nuts and bolts under the hood can be learned quite quickly. These extras will not inhibit you getting underway on day one but it’s these things that set G+ apart from the social media crowd.

google-circles


Round and round in circles…

Ok, so what of these extras? Well let’s start with circles. On Facebook, everyone is your friend but real life isn’t like that. In real life we have all sorts of social circles and G+ let’s us replicate that idea within the platform. That’s pretty obvious really and most people can see this in practice when you have circles called friends, families, colleagues, interests, etc.

You can create and populate circles in any way that you see fit.

 

vacation-rental-engagementRules of engagement…

With social marketing we are looking to build relationships with others on the platform (with the long term goal of selling them a week or two at our property).

In our case we’re sharing snippets of information about our VR home and the surrounding area. We should be telling people about what there is to see, what there is to do and what’s on, in and around the location.

Other G+ users come across our content and can interact with it in various ways.

Some may give a post a plus one (+1) (the equivalent of a Facebook like), others may share a post, while some may comment. Others may like our posts so much that they may choose to follow us.

In turn, we need to interact with others content (share the love) by plusing, sharing, commenting and following others and their content.

 

Engagement rings…

google-circle-groups

Now if we cross our circles with our engagement we come to the most beneficial part of Google Plus.

If we create circles that reflect these levels of engagement we can start to identify potential guests.

Think of this as online dating. Suppose someone gives us a plus one, plus one’s are easy to give away, a bit like a handshake, nothing too personal but the person is now an acquaintance as opposed to a stranger and can be put into a circle. If someone likes a post enough to share that post that could be seen as a virtual hug and this person can be assigned to a more cherished circle.

I see social media comments as a form of digital phone call and will always reply in order to start a conversation. In this context this could be seen as a first date and people in this circle can be viewed as more likely to book with us than those in the +1 circle.

This is classic sales funnel marketing and no other social media platform allows us to sort leads or potential guests in this way.

As relationships form we move people from one circle to another from a simple handshake circle toward a marriage made in heaven.

Time spent nurturing those in the most cherished circles is more profitable than lavishing time on strangers.

If you would like to know more about using Google Plus with regard to marketing your vacation rental please visit the BookingsPlus 4G website and have a nose around.

Failing that please feel free to drop me a line.

Regards Alan Egan.

 

Where you can find Alan:

Bookingsplus4g.com

Website

@rentmoreweeks

Twitter

rentmoreweeks

Facebook

+Rentmoreweeks

Google+

 

Amy Blomquist

Great article, Alan! “When you post an article on Google Plus it is indexed by the search giant and it can be found within the internet of things both immediately and for ever.” Re-read that sentence again if you’re on the fence about starting a Google+ page!

Heather Bayer

Amy – I think that says much of what we need to know about G+. Be a part of it and you will be found. Do you have any examples of how this is specifically working for you Amy?

Amy Blomquist

Yes, my booking have doubled and half of those booking are coming directly from my website as opposed to the listing sites!

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