Making the Case for Google+
Posted by Wally Narwhal on May 27, 2014 7:48:00 PM
Google+ may just seem like another social network to keep with in the grand scheme of things. With the continuing decrease in organic reach on social platforms such as Facebook, Google+ is gaining quite a bit of traction for businesses that are looking to expand their audience without having to dump money into advertising. Google has made it a point to seamlessly integrate Google+ with their other platforms such as Gmail and YouTube, allowing users to access all of their platforms with one Google account. Odds are that you already have a Google+ profile, even if you aren’t currently utilizing it in the way that Google would like to see.
For businesses, Google+ allows you to connect with customers in a number of different ways. Whether they are searching for your business through the Google search engine, Google Maps or on Google+ itself, you want to make sure that you are there when users are ready to find you. The best part about Google+? It does not limit your reach like Facebook business pages have recently. According to this article on ValleyWag from March of this year, Facebook is slashing organic reach of posts to user pages down to as low as 1-2%. We have seen a significant decrease in terms of impressions and organic reach across our social properties, showing a growing need to boost our Facebook advertising strategy.
For you, this means that you could only reach as little as 1% of your audience with the content you share if you are not putting money into Facebook ads and promoted posts. For small businesses, this means that you will have to put even more money into your social media strategy just to reach people who have already liked your page. While there is definitely still value in Facebook, you will be able to reach a much broader audience by implementing Google+ into your existing social media strategy.
There are many other benefits for businesses that are looking to jump onto the Google+ bandwagon, including:
Another Property to Appear in Search
Appearing in search has become the gold standard in terms of visibility on the Web, especially in regards to the Google search engine. CollgeofMarketing.com states that Google had a 67.5% market share in regards to search engine use in 2013. For small businesses, it is not uncommon to see upwards of 90+% of their search traffic coming in from Google search. Appearing as often as possible and ranking as highly as possible is vital for businesses looking to increase brand awareness and bring in traffic from Google search.
The Increasing Value of a +1
Over the past few years, you may have noticed the “+1” that appears next to search results in Google. The mysterious +1 acts as a referral for a website from users who have visited and find it to be relevant to their search results. According to Moz, the +1 on Google has a higher value (albeit marginally) than the number of linking root domains to your website, meaning it is an invaluable piece of the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) puzzle. We expect to see this value only increase over time as more people migrate to the Google+ platform.
Google+ Circles, Hangouts and Communities
- Circles are the network of users that you share content with. You can have different circles for different networks and user bases, such as employees, fans, existing customers, prospective clients, etc. By being able to target which content you share with specific groups, you can get more out of every post that you share.
- Google+ hangouts are one of the differentiating features of the service, and allow for text based chats, private video hangouts and live video hangouts that are open to a wide audience. You can utilize this service for meetings, product/service discussions, webinars, and more. Hangouts have one of the defining features of Google+, and many brands are already using them in creative and unique ways that help to set them apart from other businesses that occupy the same space/niche.
- Communities are places where users can gather together and converse about specific topics. You can create a community for just about anything, including communities for your family, for business leaders within a specific niche, users who want to follow a specific product and beyond. Pairing these communities with hangouts allow for advanced face-to-face discussions that aren’t possible on many other social networks.
Google+ is here to stay, and businesses that begin to utilize Google+ now are reaping massive benefits compared to those who are unwilling to make the jump. Businesses that were able to properly utilize Facebook years ago saw massive increases in their social value, offering great content to users and seeing a significant increase in both traffic to their website and social engagement. By adding Google+ to your existing social strategy now, you will be ahead of the game as more users continue to utilize the platform. The sooner you get on Google+, the more time you will have to implement a strong Google+ strategy that will pay off for years to come!
Written by Wally Narwhal
Wally overseas (get it?) fun and silliness at Tribute Media as the company's acting mascot and unicorn of the sea.