“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness….”
That’s how Charles Dickens started “A Tale of Two Cities” in 1859. The same thing could be written today about social media in the office.
At its best, social media delivers the ideal tools to make offices more efficient and the insights to guide businesses into the right choices in an economic climate where wisdom is perhaps the most valuable, and scarce, resource.
At its worst, social media can lead to foolishness in the office, resulting in nothing more than wasted time.
I’m going to briefly review five ways every office can successfully use Google+ daily. Our vision will go in two directions: inward and outward. In our “inward” discussion, I’ll look at how your team “inside” the office can use Google+ effectively. In our “outward” discussion, I’ll touch on ways Google+ will help you develop your relationship with current and potential customers and clients.
1. Meeting Preparation
I gave this the rather mundane title of “meeting preparation” but the idea really goes much further and deeper. By using meetings as an example, I think you’ll get the point very quickly. First, meetings can be one of the most dreaded rituals in any office. One reason is because people are often unprepared and much time is consumed getting the group up to speed.
If everyone in your office is on Google+ you can created circles that relate to various projects or departments and distribute information or “content” to those circles in preparation for a meeting or a brain storming session. Everyone can be on the same page before you all have to get together in one room. Actual meeting time will be far more productive.
2. Smart Search
How much time do we spend looking for things in both our business and personal lives? It’s totally wasted, unproductive time. With Google+, users have the ultra-powerful Google search feature automatically built in.
Do you have employees who spend hours scanning web pages or their email “trash” folder to find relevant information? Teach them to use Google search from within their Google+ account to quickly and efficiently drill down to the information they need. Productivity will increase overnight.
3. Mobile Access
There’s a free Google+ app available for both Android and iOS devices. These allow your road warriors or the people who makes the occasional trips out of town to stay in touch with everything that’s going on in the office.
Also, with powerful features like photo sharing, whoever is out of town can keep the crew back in the home office up-to-date with inspirations for new business ideas or marketing strategies. Marshall McLuhan wrote of a “global village” in the 1960s. With Google+ and its accompanying mobile app, this has become a reality.
Now I’m moving on to ways your office can use Google+ everyday to improve the way you work with your customers and clients. We’re looking “outward” and one of the most important benefits is the metrics you get when you have a Google+ business presence.
With an informed and creative use of the Google+ search you can get a handle on what people are saying about your business or brand. You can discover your biggest fans and reward them with coupons or other incentives. You can even find customer service issues and resolve them.
Google+ also makes social reports available in Google Analytics along with a wide variety of other analytical tools to help you understand your Google+ and +1 activity.
As soon as your customers or potential customers start to follow your page you can stream relevant content, like videos or photos, or even directly engage your followers with questions and ongoing discussions.
You can use the Google+ “circles” feature to fine tune your sharing.
Do you want to get really “social” with your social media followers?
Launch a hangout and get one-click video conversations with your customers. In a day when consumers are fed up with navigating endless menus over the phone to resolve a problem, an instant video chat could win you a customer for life.
David Ching is a marketing strategist for EQA Office Furniture, a retailer located in California’s Silicon Valley. Learn more about EQA’s 3D virtual tours and free quotes on their website.