Now that you’re getting started with Google+, it’s time to hone in on a few specific ways you can use the platform to market your business.

Many brands are perfectly satisfied using social networks for brand building or promoting their content. Others, however, want to achieve more concrete goals, such as driving revenue or offering customer service. In this post, we’ll look at the potential of Google+ as a marketing tool for a new product launch and discover tactics to help ensure the success of the campaign.

Seek out customer input as you develop the product. We featured the story of Squishable.com on the Social Business Connection blog earlier this year. They used their Facebook Page to share product concepts and actually allowed users to vote on which should move further along in development. You don’t have to go to that extent, but can certainly ask your loyal social users for feedback and opinions, giving them a vested interest in product when it launches.

Ideally, a product launch will be promoted across all of your networks, with content tailored for your audience on each particular platform. If you have an active, engaged Google+ audience, consider releasing the news there first, a few hours ahead of everywhere else. This gives fans that exclusive, valuable “something extra” that keeps them engaged with and interested in your brand. If the launch is picked up by a media source, the Google+ page may also be linked to as the original source of the information, further helping to build your following.

Use Google+ before and during your product launch.

Countdown the days to your product release with fun, engaging content your followers can share. Ideally, your fans will help you spread the word and create buzz, but they aren’t apt to do so if your content is boring or overly promotional. Be creative and find that relevant angle that will inspire them to share.

Use Google+ Hangouts to host a live chat focus group with loyal customers and social fans. Give them a sneak peek or advanced access to the product. Their feedback might very well inform your public-facing campaign in the days ahead!

Use analytics and Google+ Ripples to understand how your content spreads across the social network. Reach out to those you’ve identified as influencers with early access to your product or some other offer to inspire them to get on board with your launch.

We use our Direct2Dell site as the centralized hub for all product launches. However, during a launch, we also post albums of images to our Google+ Page (see above). Chief Blogger Lionel Menchaca explains, "We did it for a couple of reasons: 1) by making all product albums Public, any person with basic Internet access can view the images 2) we liked the way Google+ shows off images that are part of a collective album."  Once your product launches, actively encourage your Google+ fans to +1 your posts about the product and make sure you have a +1 button integrated with your website. 

Have you used Google+ to build buzz around a new product launch? Share your experience in the comments!