“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a friend.” -Mark Zuckerberg
If a friend shares a great experience they had at the new coffee shop down the street, you’re going to remember it – it’s human nature. The problem is that personal, face-to-face interaction is becoming more and more sparse in the Internet age. So how does a small business keep up in a world where face-to-face is now digital interaction, especially when they have always relied on word of mouth?
Through Google Search Plus Your World, Google can connect hundreds and thousands of people in a new, personalized internet experience. If someone on Google+ mentions their favorite local house of pizza that they can’t wait to order from on Friday night, every time one of that person’s Google+ friends searches for pizza, the aforementioned local pizza shop will show up on the top of the results page. It's all part of a new feature of Google search called Search Plus Your World that bridges personal recommendations with a digital format.
Google is creating a personalized Internet experience where friends are always connected on all things Google. Friends' preferences and word-of-mouth is as important as ever, now that recommendations are integrated right into search results where customers could be looking for you! This personalized Internet has created a new avenue for local business to market to their community and reach more people...for free!
Creating and Managing Your Account and Google+ Page
If a small business is not on Google+, it may be because the idea of managing any sort of internet-based account is daunting. Google+ is a very easy to create and easy to use social media tool that everyone can manage. Creating a page is as simple as having a business name, address, a picture or two, and any additional info you would want to share with a customer who walks into your brick and mortar. In a matter of minutes, your small business could be reaching the eyes and fingertips of a far greater number of close friends than could have ever been reached before.
The Importance of Google+
With the new Plus Your World feature, any boosted Google presence a small business has means more opportunities to capitalize on this localized form of recommendation-based marketing. A Google+ page creates another avenue a Google user (of which there many!) can find, mention, and recommend your business. Thanks to Search Plus Your World, a post shared on Google+, means a recommendation to that user’s entire online friend community.
Google also now incorporates Zagat ratings for restaurants and eateries! Zagat is one of the most recognizable and trusted eatery rating systems on the web. Any restaurant, big or small, should see the high value that this Zagat rating brings to an already deserving Google and Google+, and with personalized search, it’s a lot of bang, for no buck.
This is Personal
Google Search Plus Your World is Google's next step towards personalizing the Internet for each unique user. By connecting with friends on Google+ or just through a Gmail account and Google login, a user now can see what his or her friends and trusted (or not trusted) connections are recommending in every aspect of day to day life. It’s helping the new laundromat down the street or book store on the corner reach a whole network of potential customers, all from just one person discovering and mentioning it on his Google+.
A tool like this is a free and low-maintenance opportunity to hit demographics and groups of people that always seemed unreachable before. Mark Zuckerberg is right on the money with his insight into friendly recommendations. The simple act of a referral from a friend has always been a small business’ best advertisement. With Google Search Plus Your World, it has never been easier for you to capitalize on a new way to spread word-of-mouth and bring in customers you'd never known were out there.