Author: JarodLatch

Reach

The concept of reach is completely different between Social Media and Email. In social media we usually talk about “Potential Reach” to refer to the number of followers. That’s just the number of Page Likes (Fans) but your content only reaches a small fraction of that. Granted, email is only opened by a fraction of subscribers, but here’s the difference, the actual message will reach its destination, s/he then has the option to not read it.  

Penetration

There are more than 3.2 billion email accounts today and by 2016 that number will reach 4.3 billion. 95% of online consumers use email and, 91% check their email at least once a day. Email is a business minded medium. It’s where people receive important and necessary information on a  daily basis in order to preform their jobs correctly. With this in mind, its a no brainer that people are going to check their inboxes all day long. So why not throw your name into the mix? Your message is guaranteed to be delivered, unlike social sites where only a portion of your followers see your posts. Even if they chose not to read it, you succeeded by familiarizing them with your name.

Engagement

“Email” and “engagement” don’t exactly go hand in hand. However, you should consider that your audience can forward your email to friends, click on your links to view more information, access their personal accounts, update subscriptions, visit and read your blogs, post to your Facebook page and follow you on Twitter – all from one email you send out. Email marketing works more efficiently because you are sending out targeted messages to the right audience, which can be based on their preferences, location, local market conditions and other influences. Make sure you aren’t sending these from a no-reply address because that defeats the whole purpose.

email-links-for-social-networks1 Integration

The beauty of all this is that email and social media are intertwined. There are numerous benefits that come from sharing your social sites through your email marketing.  One is connecting with your audience. Each social network allows you to connect with your contacts in a slightly different way. Another is to grow your email list. As more and more people receive your emails, the more chance you have of gaining new subscribers. This will also help extend the potential reach of your emails. As people share your emails, your brand gets more exposure and more potential for opens, clicks and conversions.

homescreen_jpeg Mobile Access 

Considering that email is the top activity on smartphones — ahead of browsing and even Facebook — you have a huge opportunity to reach people with your email marketing messages via the devices they are using most often. Litmus observed that 66% of Gmail messages are opened on mobile devices. When it’s obvious that over half of your consumers are using these devices, Email becomes the perfect marketing tool to grab their attention with. In order for this to be the most effective, make sure your content is mobile friendly!

Make it your own

Emails are a blank canvases. You have the opportunity to engage your clients by making personalizes suggestions that will benefit them moving forward. Every promotion, news update, reminder, etc. can be personalized based on their preferences, location, local market conditions and more. To top it off, take advantage of the opportunity to create a signature look and tone of voice to your messages. This consistency will help your customers begin to develop an idea of the brand image you’re trying to create.

Effective marketing strategies are ever-changing. They constantly need to be modified based on the changes and development in media and communication. Considering 2013 is quickly coming to an end, make the most of your business in 2014 by taking into consideration a few trends.

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 Social Media will be a MUST.

Social media will move from “maybe” to “definitely” in 2014. It will no longer be considered just a free promotional tool. It’s becoming increasingly important to incorporate social media into a company’s overall marketing strategy. It helps broadcast the message, keeps customers engaged and allows for a well rounded relationship between a business and customer. When developing a marketing strategy for 2014, social media will help strengthen your relationships but it will also give you direct access to notify your fans about events, rewards, perks, etc. We’ve seen this year that social media is a conversational marketing tool that if used correctly, can take your brand to a whole new level.

Mobile Madness 

We all know that people use their phones all day long. Over 1.2 billion people access the web from their mobile devices. They email, text, post, search and more. With this being said, the chances of someone stumbling on your site through a mobile device are very likely. According to Google Insights, 77% of mobile searches are done in a location, work or home, in which a computer is readily available and 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience . These statistics prove how crucial it is to make sure your site is mobile friendly.

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Think images

Consumers respond well to engaging visuals. The consistent trend in 2013 of sharing images (and video) has been growing and visual content is becoming an increasingly important part of any solid content strategy. Image-based social media sites like Pinterest and Tumblr are likely to grow requiring businesses to become more savvy about sharing photos on their websites and blogs. The number one concern is to consider what your consumers respond to as we move into 2014.

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 Think video

Video is key when developing a marketing strategy. It’s the easiest way to deliver your message to a enormous amount of people for a small amount of money. With all the social sites catching onto the video trend, micro video will continue to rise in popularity. We’re seeing more movement toward user generated video sharing through smartphones.

Cisco predicts 85% of all internet traffic in 2015 will be video so it’s safe to say video and social media will continue to grow. As far as brand videos go, engagement is the main concern. Number of views is always important but the focus is shifting away from that number and more towards the levels of engagement with the viewers. Brands are now concerned more with whether or not their messages are impacting their consumers positively after they’ve viewed it rather than being focused only on the number of those who have seen it.

What are you changing moving into 2014? Let us know in the comment section below!

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75 percent, that’s the percent of executives who told Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. Not to mention all online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016.

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If you’re not using video marketing, you’re missing out on a huge market opportunity. According to ComScore 89 million people in the United States are going to watch 1.2 billion online videos today. When you post an online marketing video to a business website you can attract numerous leads. You could spark the interest of future talent, attract business from a potential client in need of your services or develop a new important contact. This is an easy way to quickly showcase what you have to offer. Video is a great way to get your elevator pitch out into the world and allow it to bring leads to your doorstep.

A huge advantage of video marketing is that it allows you to reach millions of people within a short time without spending a large chunk of money. The benefits for your business could be enormous. There is no other form of marketing that can offer such impressive results at such a low price. Some argue that video may be the most effective way to get a message across. This is because it appeals to multiple senses. The use of sound engages the viewer while the images evoke feelings and drive home the central theme. It also requires less attention to retain the information when you’re watching a message opposed to reading one. Use of audio visuals helps gain the trust of the audience as they understand that it takes time and effort to produce the messaging. This shows that you care enough to put serious time into your marketing efforts in order to create a positive overall impression or impact.

Another advantage video provides is the amount of time it keeps viewers on your website. Your audience is more inclined to poke around after being impressed by an informative video. They’re likely to remember your site if they remember your video. With all the different social media platforms today, it’s easy to distribute links to your videos as well. Greatly enhancing the sharing potential is the fact that 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. If your videos live on your website, this enables the opportunity to engage with hundreds or even thousands of customers.

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Video marketing is essential for success and will most likely lend to more exposure over time. Ad campaigns die out and are constantly in need of a new approach. The opposite has proven to be true with video. The right marketing video can continue to bring you new leads and interest for years to come.

 

Everyone is talking about the recent Google headlines. They all range from something along the lines of “Hummingbird -Google’s biggest change in years,”  to “Algorithm adapts to the new age.” So what exactly does that mean to the average Google user? We’ll break it down to explain pretty simply what this change really entails.

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Google Hummingbird allows for much more complex searches to be understood by the search engine.

Previously it would pick out keywords from your entry and deliver your results that way. Now you can enter, “What services does Spiracle Media provide in Charlotte, North Carolina?” The new algorithm takes the search query data, understands it, links it, retains it and then answers it through the Knowledge Graph. More naturalistic or ‘conversational’ search terms are now more important than ever. There is now far less focus on individual keywords and more on their collective meaning.

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Another change to take advantage of  is the comparison feature. Previously when you were trying to compare two different products or services you would need to conduct two separate searches. After your searches were complete you would have to manually list and decipher which option was the best choice for you. Hummingbird allows Google to be a Comparison Engine and do the work for you in one search and half the time.  “White bread vs Wheat bread”, for example brings up a comparison chart of the nutritional facts of both breads. More complex search queries, once they’re understood, provide greater data to Google search that can be used to widen and deepen the search results.

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With the switch to Hummingbird, it’s obvious that the search is getting smarter. This change affects 90% of searches worldwide. Businesses that used to rely on simple keyword strategy to rank in search will find themselves re-thinking their strategies, especially since Google has quit reporting keywords in Google Analytics making it very difficult to create a SEO strategy around them.

Facebook has the power to take your business to the next level if you use it correctly. It’s a free and useful tool allowing you to be your own media outlet. Your fans on social sites sign on to be entertained and informed, not overwhelmed and bored. Here are some mistakes to avoid in order to attract and keep as many fans as you can.

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Poor use of images: People are more inclined to click on a post if they’re attracted by an interesting image.  Social media is a very visual tool and it’s important to take advantage of that. Using few or no images at all is not a smart use of your time. In order to become your own media outlet, snap pictures on a regular basis so you have plenty of content to work with. Make sure your images are clear and interesting unlike this image to the left. Images are an easy way to show off your products or services and when you combine them with a short amount of text you’ll have an engaging post for your followers to respond to.

Not interacting with your followers: Once you’ve managed to engage your followers enough for them to respond or comment on your posts, make sure you’re interacting with them. Humanize your brand by ‘liking’ their comments and have conversations with them. This is a no-brainer way to easily develop personal relationships with your customers which increases their loyalty to your brand.

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Arguing with followers: There will always be that one follower who leaves a nasty comment, provides negative feedback or is just a tad rude. Let them say what they please but DO NOT argue back. Check out this huge mistake Amy’s Baking Company made when they let their emotions get the better of them. After your customers have voiced their concerns, express your willingness to help publicly. By addressing the issue openly, people can view how you solve problems with your customers. The most important thing to remember is that negative feedback on your social site wont do nearly as much damage as handling the situation poorly. The way Amy’s Baking Company responded to their customers went viral. This post alone was liked almost 100 times and shared 48 times. Yikes! Remember, when you become your own media outlet you develop a reputation from these sites. The better idea is to ask them to chat with you over email in order to talk through the situation privately.

Being absent: It’s the worst to seek out a company’s social site for information and find out they’ve been dormant for 6 months. That alone can be quite the turn off for customers. Social sites require you to be consistent and that consistency is what your customers will appreciate and respond to. If you disappear, your customers will likely venture elsewhere to find the answers they’re seeking.

Being too present: This no-no goes hand in hand with the previous tip. Don’t bombard your customers with posts. It’s annoying, and they’ll hate you. One of the most common reasons people un-follow a page is because too many repetitive posts are clogging up their news feeds. There’s a healthy balance between being absent and being overzealous. You want to aim to provide your customers with just enough information to keep them engaged. One post, maybe two a day is plenty for most businesses.

 

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

LinkedIn isn’t the only social site that can help land you that next job. Twitter is slowly but surely  jumping on the bandwagon. We spoke to Erin Osterhaus, HR Analyst at Software Advice about her thoughts on the matter. Erin-Osterhaus

1. Why do you think it’s important for companies to utilize social recruiting?

If a company is going to stay competitive when it comes to recruiting, they absolutely need to leverage social media platforms to find and attract talent. Recruiting is becoming more and more like marketing–recruiters can target niche audiences using tools like LinkedIn and Twitter. If other companies are targeting those same candidates while your company is relying solely on job boards, referrals and company career pages, you’re most likely missing out on some excellent new hires.

2. Do you think companies that utilize this tool have more success finding desirable candidates?

Yes. The primary goal of any recruiter is to increase the number of candidates in the pool. After all, with more applicants, the better the chances of finding the best person for the job. It’s simple math. By extending your reach through social media, more job seekers are likely to hear about your open positions. And if you target your audience well, you’ll also get more qualified applicants as well–you might even catch the eye of some applicants who weren’t currently looking. Overall, it’s a win-win.

3. How do you suggest a company begins the process of social recruiting?

First, come up with some clear and executable goals. Twitter should be used for more than just blasting out job postings. Creating awareness about new positions should definitely be a key part of any social recruiting strategy, but your company should also consider how it can create a real-time view into your company’s culture, and make people want to work for you.

4. What are some of the best practices?

First of all, it’s important to get current employees to post about jobs, share news and expose your company culture. After all, who could provide better insight into what it’s like to work for your company than those who already work there?

Instead of just using Tweets from the @JoinTheFlock handle, Twitter’s recruiters are able to make the company seem more accessible. There is a name and a face associated with an open job, not just a corporate account, which applicants have nothing tangible or personal to connect with.

Second, recruiters should leverage the tools already built into the social media platforms. For instance, the hashtag on Twitter. This symbol has the seemingly-magical ability to make your Tweets appear before Twitter users who don’t even follow you. And not only do they get you in front of more people, they also help ensure those are the right people.

For example, if someone is looking for a job in software development, they might search certain tags, such as #hadoop, #CMS, #UX or #TechTalent. By including hashtags in a job post, these candidates can find the job, even if they don’t follow the @JoinTheFlock account already.

It’s a kind of built-in advanced search option that has the benefit of simultaneously exposing @JoinTheFlock’s Tweets to an audience of qualified—and possibly interested—potential new hires. It’s a win-win.

Third, as there are more and more multimedia formats available, and recruiters should leverage photos and video to show potential applicants what life would be like if they were to work for you. A picture is worth a thousand words–so don’t be afraid to share photos of events around the office.

And if a picture is great, video is even better. It makes the candidate feel like they’re in the office. There are multiple instances of the Vine video app being used on the @JoinTheFlock account, and all serve to showcase what a wonderful place Twitter is to work.

5. I understand you spoke with  Twitter’s own recruiting programs officer, Anitra Collins. What were her suggestions on this matter?

Twitter’s approach, is multi-pronged. Sharing current employees’ and hiring managers’ Tweets allows a glimpse into the day-to-day life at the company, and showcases Twitter’s culture in a way that makes the company look attractive to prospective employees.

All these tactics highlight Twitter’s openness to potential applicants. But it’s also important to note that they follow through and respond directly to applicants who Tweet at the @JoinTheFlock handle, pointing them to current listings. These exchanges make the process much more personal.

Twitter’s recruiters also use the platform to garner information about candidates that would be unavailable through traditional recruiting processes. They use Twitter to vet candidates for their style, communicative prowess and attitude: all things that are much more difficult to find in a traditional resume.

6. Can you list a few Do’s and Dont’s in regards to social recruiting?

Don’t be one-sided with your use of social media.

Do be active. Reach out to qualified candidates, and respond when you receive inquiries from potential applicants.

7. Can you list some top reasons social recruiting benefits a company beyond just finding new talent?

It’s a great and inexpensive way to build your brand. For example, Twitter does a great job of exposing its culture through its social media account. Allowing potential candidates a glimpse into what they can expect if they are going to work there keeps them interested, and might pique the interest of more passive candidates, as well.

Using Twitter and other social media is a great way to expose new people to what your company has to offer, and if used well, has the potential to grow your following and talent pool at an astounding rate.

 

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Instagram  is home to over 130 million app users. Those users post around 40 million photos a day. By getting your pictures into that mix, you greatly enhance your chances of being noticed by an enormous amount of people. You can search through millions of hashtags (#) in order to find consumers using and talking about your products or services. This allows you to directly communicate with them about any feedback they may have.

If you’re concerned that you don’t have a physical product to take photos of, don’t be. You can get creative with pictures or videos of employees in the office, events you’ve attended or the success of the work you’re currently involved with. Company culture is always important to post about as well. Allowing potential clientele a look into the office atmosphere can give them a more well-rounded sense of  what your brand is about.

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So what do you do once you’ve created your account? Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Fill out your profile- Add all the information your clients need to know about you. Your location, hours, phone number, email, etc. Make sure to leave links to your other social media accounts. You want your prospects to have all the tools they need to further their interest in your products or services.

Think about your content- Make sure your posts have something going for them. They could be funny, informative, or interesting. Just make sure they aren’t bland. Instagram is a platform that allows you to turn your creativity up a notch so take advantage of it.

Utilize hashtags- As Jarod Latch, Co-Founder of Spiracle Media would say, “Join the conversation customers are already having about you.” These social conversations happen every day and can include vital feedback that can help improve your brand. Use hashtags such as #spiraclemedia or #spiraclemediacharlotte in order to locate other people’s posts about your products or services.

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Engage! Once you’ve found these users on Instagram, let them know! Join the social conversations by following them so you can see future posts from them. Feel free to comment on their thoughts about your company. Throw in a “Thanks!” if they’re praising what you have to offer. If they have a concern about your product or service make sure to address it. A thoughtful message like, “We’re so sorry to hear that, how can we improve?” can squash the issue the majority of the time.

Don’t over do it: Keep your posts regular but not overwhelming. As soon as you overwhelm a follower, they are much more inclined to unfollow.

Introduce everyone: Allow your followers to get to know your employees and yourself. This is the easiest way to humanize your brand. Show the quirky relatable sides of your employees. Not only does this make people more inclined to support your brand but it could also attract new talent if you show enough of your awesome office environment.

Take advantage of the social conversations that can provide you tips and advice on what your doing right or wrong. As long as you take into consideration some solid tips to point you in the right direction, you’ll find your groove in no time.  Everyone posts differently, which is what makes Instagram so interesting.  Once you gain some followers and some confidence in your posts you’ll be an Instagram master before you know it!

 

Let us know what you think in the comment section below

When it comes to life, work, sports and even our favorite leisurely activities — getting back to the fundamentals is essential. It’s the point in between over-thinking and not thinking at all. Fundamentals are easy to miss because of all the noise that surrounds us on a daily basis or the lack of focus that results from trying to do too many things at once. We have become great at overwhelming ourselves and our minds by expecting too much. We don’t give each task the attention it deserves because of our mindset of taking on multiple things that require equal attention at the same time.

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It’s time to get back to identifying and solidly engaging the fundamentals in a way that ensures consistent quality when it comes to the end product in video production. That brings me to a fundamental of shooting video that I think is overlooked too often by both rookie and veteran shooters. It’s the technique of sequential shooting and the thought process of wide, medium, tight.
Sequential shooting simply means a string of shots presented in succession that make logical sense. Think of a crowded room of people for example. A sequence could be presented as such:
1) Wide shot of the room
2) Medium shot of multiple people sitting together
3) Tight shot on an attentive face — focusing on the eyes

You can add an additional shot or two if it makes sense. A solid mix of wide, medium and tight shots can help promote more dynamic video that captures the emotion and reality of the setting. During video production, visually representing the event accurately should always be a top priority and a lot depends on how you organize your shots. How well do you think one or two shots ahead? Thinking with a purpose will help you become a better videographer and lend to a smoother editing process. It will also add to the fluidity of your visual presentation.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to go wrong with wide, medium, tight. It’s fundamental.
Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

When you’re searching for a new position and discover a potential employer, you’d definitely check out their Facebook page and Twitter profile. You’d probably also look them up on Google and LinkedIn for as much information as you can gather. Potential employees form an impression of your organization based on the information they mine from these different sources. Social media recruiting can maximize your interaction with potential job candidates by not only attracting them to your company, but also allowing you to reach out directly to top talent in your area.

Corporate culture is an important factor when deciding on a place of employment. You can showcase the company’s culture by publishing content that accurately reflects the company’s environment. Vine is a great way to share a brief look into the work atmosphere. Don’t hesitate to capture the fun that happens in your workplace or broadcast the perks and benefits your employees receive. If you offer free breakfast and lunch to your employees, have regular happy hours to blow off steam or reward individuals who work hard in unconventional ways, show it off! Not many organizations offer a lot of enticing perks, but the ones who do become known. These are all positive aspects potential employees will take into consideration. The goal is to give people an idea of how awesome it is to work for you. Once you’ve accomplished this, the top talent  in your area will be motivated to contact you directly.

The first step when trying to attract talent through social channels is to make your website as user-friendly as possible. Include as much information on company culture as possible. Maybe even throw in some ‘day in the life’ videos so people can visualize what you’re describing. Next, you need to work on your social media platforms in order to excel in social media recruiting.

Up to 60% of job seekers expect a company to interact with its followers and fans, whereas 20% of recruiters agree that it takes up less time and resources to hire via social media versus traditional means.

Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey released a report on the social job seeker that dissected the ways people looked for and found jobs through social channels in 2012. Excerpts:

  • 88% of all job seekers have at least one social networking profile;
  • 64% have two profiles and 44% have three
  • 75% of the American workforce is comprised of job seekersfacebook
  • 69% of employed Americans are actively seeking or open to a new jobScreen-Shot-2012-11-15-at-6.21.30-AM

First and foremost, you need to use the company Facebook page to interact with potential employees and regularly share company news. Make it easy for them to share job postings with friends and encourage existing employees to seek social media referrals from co-workers.

Your company should also have a strong presence on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network that makes it easy to search for specific skills, previous experience, view recommendations and approach candidates directly.

Twitter can also be a valuable recruitment tool that can be used for interacting with candidates and job seekers. Aside from posting vacancies, you can share your ‘day in the life of’ videos showcasing your office or featuring your team at work. You can even add a personal touch by reaching out to potential employees and wishing them luck on their upcoming interviews. Rather than tweeting from the brand account, have members of the organization tweet from personal accounts instead. When sharing a new vacancy, use hashtags in your tweets so jobseekers can find your postings easier, and don’t forget to include your city!

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The Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey also provides a comprehensive overview of the social media recruiting market. It states that:

  • Over 90% of employers will use social media recruiting in 2012
  • 2/3 of Companies now recruit via Facebook; over half use Twitter and almost all use LinkedIn
  • 43 % of respondents felt that the quality of applicants has improved thanks to social media
  • 20 % said it takes less time to hire when using social recruiting

These statistics are all vital information to consider when deciding how your company is going to approach social media recruiting. Whether you’re posting jobs on these platforms or just interested in attracting the best talent to work for you, use these tools to your advantage and make your company stand out!

Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Google plus hasn’t quite caught on like many people expected when it launched in 2011, but the social media platform can be a vital asset to new and existing businesses. It contains features that some of the more well-established platforms don’t contain. Here are just a few ways how this social media site can help build your business’s brand and take it to the next level.

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Ability to build communities- Google+ allows you to essentially build your own communities by creating groups. You can fill these groups with people and other businesses that share the same core values as your brand. Participating in existing communities is also a great away to enhance brand awareness and get feedback from clients or customers.

“Three weeks ago, I wouldn’t have said Google Plus was an easy place to meet people,” says Linda Sherman, International Speaker and Marketing Professional, “but now it’s amazingly different. You can even join the community as a brand, which you cannot do on Facebook, and you can interact with your potential customers, influencers, and people of interest.”

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Events– While Google+ has the same approach as Facebook when it comes to creating event pages, Google+ has a leg up because its directly linked with Gmail and Google Calendar. People can easily add these events into their calendars and invite others to do the same. Events are always an important strategy to incorporate when trying to help build your business’s brand. It allows people to humanize a brand, meet the people behind it and enjoy some perks of attending a free get together.

 

 

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Analytical Insights- Recently the social media platform has incorporated insights that allow you to track your views, the number of times you’re viewed in local searches and how much engagement you’re receiving. These are all incredibly vital statistics that are the key to developing a social media marketing plan. Social media marketing firms, like Spiracle Media here in Charlotte, track these numbers while servicing clients in order to determine whether their strategies are working.

Google Places- This feature gives businesses the ability to provide information like hours, contacts, photos, reviews and pinpoint their exact location on Google Maps. Potential customers can get easy access to driving directions and even how to avoid traffic on the way.

Let us know your thoughts on Google+ and whether you will use it in the near future in the comments section below.