We tell you if you need to make Google+ a part of your online marketing strategy…
Google+ has now been around for just over two years and to tell you the truth if you are not using it you are doing your business a huge disservice. Not only does it offer you a range of features but has some excellent tools to assist you and your online profile.
If you ignore Google+, then Google search will ignore you. Unfortunately this seems to be true. The statistics speak for themselves:
- Google+ is now the second largest social network right behind Facebook which has over 693 million users.
- Google+ is gaining momentum with over 500 million members.
- 359 million Google + users are active monthly, an increase of 27% in the past three months.
Social-media marketers for all companies and brands, large, medium and small, need to pay attention to Google+ now and start developing a strategy that puts Google+ as an important “member” of the social media platforms. However the strategy you use for Google+ needs to be significantly different than your Facebook strategy due to the tools & features you have at your fingertips within your Google+ account.
The top three features that are worth their weight in gold are:
- Circles – Google+ circle makes sharing content fast, easy and precise and according to Searchmetrics, sharing on Google+ is poised to surpass sharing on Facebook by 2016. You can easily manage whose updates you see and choose who you’d like to share with. You can broadcast to the world, or keep your conversations private by creating unique circles for different groups. When you add contacts to circles, you can assign them to a particular group such as family, co-workers, friends, customers etc. Then you can easily select which of your followers will see your Google+ updates. When you make updates public, that is, not choosing to share them with a particular circle, everyone who has you in their circles can see them. Google+ users also can share circles with each other, and you can choose to follow circles that others have created. This is a great way to tap into a circle of experts and join the conversation. And, when a Google+ user “circles” (follows) you, they are also giving you permission to send them e-mail, making the platform an even more valuable marketing tool.
- Communities – There are two types of communities, public and private. The private communities enable you to Gather real-world groups of people like your basketball buddies, fellow classmates or your family and share more personal information. Public communities allow you to join people on Google+ with the same interests and chat about topics you are interested in. You can even join communities as a brand, which you can’t do on Facebook, so you can interact with influencers, experts, current and potential customers.
- Hangouts – How about this feature which is unique to Google+, a free video chat that an unlimited number of people can join. No downloads and you can begin your hangout from your gmail account or google+ page. You can broadcast your hangout in real time and save it to your YouTube channel and even edit it! You can hold a chat with your closest friends or a large group of employees and share slides and collaborate on documents with colleagues and clients, broadcast a performance or a concert, conduct on-the-street interviews, or set up a weekly talk show that you broadcast globally from your living room.
These three features alone make your online social media strategy considerably different from Facebook. These tools, which Facebook doesn’t have, provide an excellent opportunity to build a following and to increase your search engine status.
So in summary:
- Google+ should be more visual, interactive and regular. A social media plan needs to be created.
- Google+ Circles lets you decide exactly who can see which content, and therefore you need to create more specific content for your circles where as Facebook content is more broad brush.
- YouTube channel where you upload your videos seamlessly integrates with Google+.
- There’s no advertising, on Google+ at present.
So consider, or for some, re-consider adding Google+ to your social media marketing strategy or risk becoming lost online!