By CC Pearce
Businesses are able to benefit from the harnessing the power of social media to spread news and hype about a company's offerings. One of the biggest new players to the social media scene is Google Buzz, a platform that integrates with a number of social services as well as a Google account.
Set Up a Google Account
The first thing when getting started with Google Buzz for a business is to set up a Google account. At www.gmail.com new accounts can be created, and it is a good idea to pick a handle that is simple and easy to remember. This handle will become the main way that Google and anyone in your social media reach recognizes you.
Import Your Contacts
If you have contacts from other email accounts, they should be imported into the new Google account. Google will automatically add contacts to the account as you send emails to friends or clients, but if there is a list of existing contacts, it is relatively simple to export a .csv file from Yahoo, Hotmail, or other clients and then import them into Gmail.
Integrate Your Account
To fully integrate Google Buzz, you must decide what other services you want to incorporate into your profile. You can connect sites like Twitter, YouTube, Google Reader, Blogger, Flickr and several others in order to create a full social profile that automatically posts your news, pictures, and videos. If these sites are already used regularly to update consumers about the business, then Google Buzz will be a seamless integration and centralized source.
After connecting these other sites, people will be able to find you more easily on Google Buzz if they already follow you on the other services that are integrated. You also have the choice to choose who you will follow and Google will make suggestions based on your social connections.
Segment Your Contacts
With the posting process now streamlined, you may want to divide your clients into groups. You can do this in the contacts section of Gmail if you wish to post some information only to certain groups. When posting directly in Google Buzz, simply click "Private" and then "Post to Group" and you will easily be able to select who will be able to view the new post.
Set Your Location
Be sure to set the location of your business in the mobile version of Google Buzz or in www.google.com/latitude so that locals will be able to see your posts if they are checking for information geographically.
Spread the Word
Be sure to publicize the Google Buzz account on your Web site and easily link to it. You can even post individual buzzes to your Web site if you are trying to engage your audience in a specific conversation.
Google Buzz is a straightforward and simple way to streamline your social media into a single location and has an abundance of privacy options. If you want to engage your customers on a personal level while delivering company news, the best way to do it is with a simple Buzz.
About the Author
CC Pearce is a Post Production Coordinator at Michael Eisner's new media venture Tornante, LLC. He is also a co-producer of the Internet comedy production team The Outside Joke.