Google Plus IconGoogle+ is Google’s own social media site. Fully integrated with other Google sites like Gmail and YouTube, it’s still relatively new compared to Facebook, but offers great promise. It currently has over 20 million users and this number is growing every day. Creating a Google+ account for your business gives you an advantage in Google searches and also offers excellent features that help you build your brand. Here are 10 ways to use Google+ for brand-building.

1. Write a Killer Description

Your short description is what will show up with your page in search engine results, so spend some time making it really good. It should grab attention, tell what your business is about, and be keyword optimized.

2. Be Unique and Personal

Whenever you’re interacting with people on Google+, be yourself and show your human side. Don’t be afraid to use a little humor. It’s important to be real and not appear impersonal.

3. Use Scrapbook Photos

Google+ lets you put photos at the top of your profile’s main page. These are called ‘Scrapbook Photos’ and you can use them creatively to attract attention and brand your company. You can also change them as often as you’d like to.

4. Track Trends with Sparks

The Sparks feature lets you search using keywords and find out what’s trending. You can then post these trends on your Google+ page to show your fans what’s going on in your industry. This helps to brand you as an expert who knows what’s hot.

5. Tell Them about You

Spend some extra time writing a great ‘about’ page that tells people who you are, what you do and your brand message. Go ahead and use your real name and link your ‘about’ page to your personal Google+ profile to put a human face on it.

6. Get Rid of Useless Tabs

Google+ gives you a whole bunch of tabs automatically and there are many you won’t use. Delete the ones you don’t use so that they don’t clutter up your profile. When you click on ‘Edit Profile,’ you’ll see where you can delete them.

7. Think About Your Posts

On Facebook or Twitter, it’s perfectly acceptable to make crazy, off-the-cuff comments, but with Google+, you should be more careful. Currently, the site is used mostly for professional networking or as a news source. Spend some time on your posts and make sure they’re relevant and appropriate.

8. Share Everything Everywhere

If you use Google Chrome as your browser, you can download a program called Extend Share. This automatically gives you the option to share your posts to Facebook and all of your other social media sites, allowing you to brand across platforms easily.

9. Hold a Hangout

Hangouts is a feature that lets you do live video chats or impromptu webinars. Pick a topic related to your industry and hold your own Hangout. This gives your fans a chance to interact one-on-one with you. Even the Dalai Lama and Desmond tutu have done a hangout!

10. Don’t be Greedy

Don’t use Google+ only to promote your own brand. Devote some time to checking out other people’s profiles and updates. Comment and interact with them. This boosts your brand visibility and attracts new fans.

Google+ is new but it is getting more active every day. The key to using it effectively is to set aside a little bit of time each day to interactions. There’s a lot to learn and features are being added constantly. Always stay focused on this one question – What do you want to achieve with your Google+ presence? Stay focused and the time you spend on Google+ will be well worth it.