As opposed to Facebook, which appears to be the best platform for business-to-consumer social media marketing, Google+ may be the best platform for business-to-business marketers.

A business-to-business social media strategy should focus on building social influence by engaging and building viral rapport with journalists, bloggers, and other media types who cover industry-related topics relevant to your company.

With that in mind, we’ve outlined several important Google+ features that will complement your B2B social media marketing strategy, and serve to fulfill the goal of establishing company leaders as a social influencer within their areas of expertise.

  • Google+ offers companies the opportunity to attain a higher ranking in a search engine results page (SERP) by publishing original content.
  • The social networks’ Hangouts feature provides B2B marketers the biggest opportunity to distinguish their social media efforts against the competition.
  • Google+ allows users to express their expertise by contributing to real-time topical search streams.
  • Google+ is compatible with Twitter and YouTube and can be easily synchronized.
  • B2B marketers can leverage their company’s AdWords campaigns by appealing to “social sentiment” and Google’s “Quality Score.”

Higher visibility in search engine results pages

Google owns search! And unlike Facebook, original content published on Google+ is indexed and ranked by its search engine.

Additionally, Google uses author information associated with their Google+ profiles in search results, meaning content produced by writers with personal Google+ profiles linking website/blog content to their profiles will be more widely visible.

While the Google+ sharing function (i.e., +1) is not as prevalent as Facebook’s “Like” or Twitter’s “Retweet,” it has broader search engine optimization influence than shares on other networks. When users +1 content, it can create a ripple effect that can increase brand awareness and social influence.

If performed well, B2B marketers can achieve higher page positioning on Google’s search results pages for matching search queries with keyword-optimized posts.

Let’s Hangout

Hangouts are Google+’s most unique and intriguing feature, allowing up to 10 users the opportunity to chat with each other via webcam.

Some marketers might view the fact that only 10 people can participate in a Hangout at once as a negative, but it provides the opportunity to offer journalists, bloggers, and other social influencers exclusivity when pitching them.

This feature could serve your best marketing interests by engaging your predetermined top influencers to participate in an exclusive Hangout press junket where you can highlight your latest product or service in anticipation of its release. Such a Hangout could be arranged prior to, or in conjunction with, the release of an embargoed press release.

There are many journalists and news organizations with Google+ profiles and pages that have access to Hangouts. We all know that exclusivity makes media personalities feel special in their competitive world. By utilizing Hangouts in this capacity you will be ahead of the curve relative to industry competitors and can further enhance the company as a social influencer akin to counterparts in the media.

Google+ socializes search results

Searching for your industry-related queries on Google+ produces far more concise results than those on Facebook; these concise results will allow users to engage in meaningful industry-related conversations with interested parties who may cover topics important to your company.

Furthermore, the network lets users share directly from Google+ search results, and contribute to a topical Google+ stream. For example, if you search for #healthcarecosts – yes, Google+ utilizes hashtags – you could then publish a post highlighting a recent health study your company created and automatically contribute to the original Google+ search stream and participate in the active dialogue as it continues to unfold.

Google+ is Twitter-friendly!

TwooglePlus is an application that allows users’ tweets to broadcast on their Google+ page. Features include:

  • Cross-post from multiple Twitter accounts
  • Cross-post from WordPress and other blogs with RSS or Atom feeds
  • Cross-post to any number of Google+ circles
  • Only post tweets or blog posts containing #g (optional)
  • Un-shorten links in tweets and blog posts (optional)
  • Remove tracking tokens from un-shortened links (optional)
  • Automated online service, just sign up and it works!

TwooglePlus is an automated tool with several options to filter what tweets will show up on Google+. One option lets users designate which Google Circles that tweets will show up in, while a second option allows users to post only those tweets tagged with a predetermined hashtag.

ManageFlitter.com is a Twitter management tool that works similarly, but in reverse, by allowing users to post Google+ entries into tweets. This tool also provides automation options that can filter what Google+ posts we want to show up on our Twitter feeds. ManageFlitter’s advanced options enable us to broadcast only Google+ posts with a #twt hashtag.

Where does YouTube fit in?

YouTube fits in fine as well. Share uploaded YouTube videos right from your page by clicking the Add Video icon, which provides three options: 1) upload video from computer; 2) share uploaded videos from YouTube; or 3) record video using a computer camera.

Videos can also be shared on Google+ directly from your company’s YouTube page by clicking on the G+ icon within the Share options. It’s fairly simple.

Leverage your AdWords campaign!

Google is actually making AdWords more social as it shifts towards quantifying “social sentiment.” What does that mean for your company?

By linking your Google+ URL to your AdWords ads, Google provides users the opportunity to endorse (+1) your company’s ads. The more people who endorse those ads, the more your company’s Quality Score increases – Quality Score is how Google “estimates how relevant ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad.”

In turn, Google’s search engine is more likely to highlight your company ads in higher positions than that of your competitors, which additionally raises your company’s “social awareness” and increases its relevance in search queries.

These Google+ features should lend themselves nicely to what B2B marketers should be trying to create in terms of social influence. Employed meticulously and in step with your other social media properties, Google+ should help B2B marketers socially brand and publicize their company as the go-to thought leader in their professional fields.