Google has been making it increasingly obvious that they are targeting business owners with Google+. Google+ Local was just the start. The rumored and highly anticipated "Business Builder" dashboard is another feature that will benefit businesses. While you are waiting for that to come out, you can use Google+ as a business page and leave reviews of other businesses.
The Benefits of Leaving Reviews as a Page
Leaving reviews of other businesses as a page is a way to socially network your business through Google+. You are essentially recommending the best businesses or warning people off bad businesses through a professional front. This means you can drop your personal profile while promoting yours and other businesses, a convenience other social networks have had for years.
Why Use Barnacle Reviews on Google+ Local?
The idea behind Barnacle Reviews on Google+ Local is putting yourself out there on bigger pages and getting exposure that way. In other words, behaving like a barnacle clinging to other objects. It is much more savvy and sane than it sounds.
Google+ Local has a pretty cool advantage that other social networking and business sites do not generally offer, either by design or just by accident. If you post your reviews properly, you will stick more so more people see you. In other words, you will not be crushed under the weight of the Internet.
How to Get Started
All you have to do to start using Google+ Local as your business is to go into your Google+ account, hit the dropdown on the right showing your pages, select your business page and go. Start by reviewing similar businesses, maybe even those that work with you. The hope is that they will see your review and reciprocate or their customers will and may come to you. Move on to bigger relevant businesses as your network grows. Be careful not to be "spammy" and flood them with reviews. Craft one good review.
Finding Relevant Businesses
The Actual Review
Well, you found places to review easily enough, but what about writing a review? The golden rule of reviews is to ditch generic phrases. "Great place!" is not going to suffice. Actually use the business. Be specific. List good qualities, tips for consumers and sprinkle in the praise. Anything that is straight praise with no substance looks disingenuous to savvy Internet users.
You want your Barnacle Review on Google+ Local to be considered helpful by the community. Otherwise, it will sink like a stone. Speaking of which, avoid flowery metaphors and clichés like the one you just read. Keep it factual. Keep it useful and you will be rated up by Google+ and stick to the top of the pile like a, well, barnacle.
The Bottom Line
This method may not work for businesses that are targeting major industry markets. For example, it is unlikely that huge corporations are looking for suppliers through Google+ Local. You are going to do the best with this method if your target is the average consumer. Say you run a flower shop and someone out of town is coming to see family. They do not know where the flower shop is, but Google+ does because you told it. If your business is on your page and on every other relevant page in the area and you are seen being helpful, you are more likely to get the kind of customer who uses social networks to find businesses.
The founder of CinchLocal, is a seasoned entrepreneur that has over 18 years of experience in search engine optimization and online marketing.