Despite the backing of probably the most powerful force in all things internet, Google+ to many is still often the forgotten child in terms of social media, especially for businesses. Yet, whilst it hasn’t the mass-appeal of Facebook and Twitter nor seemingly even the young-guns like Instagram and Pinterest, Google+ is important, if not essential to your business success online.
We’ll come to the benefits of Google+ later, but first let’s dispel some of the myths that often put people off from using the Platform.
It’s not as convenient
It’s true the widespread take-up of Twitter and Facebook means the demand has forced integration with a whole host of other applications and platforms, whereas Google has been reluctant to release an API to allow the same. That’s slowly changing however and there are now more and more apps like scheduling tool Buffer that now allow you to post to brand pages without the need to be logged in and sat on the Google+ platform.
It’s too complicated
If you know how to use one social platform you really know how to use them all and Google+ is no different from the others, in fact it is probably simpler and more intuitive – thanks to that unique Google insight. Spend an hour or so looking at what others post, how shares work and who to follow and you can soon be having an impact on behalf of your brand.
It’s not built for B2B or even B2C
This probably stems simply from the limited demographics of those behind the initial take-up phase for the platform. However with Google’s insistence on integration of G+ plus with it’s other assets like YouTube and Gmail, the Google+ audience is not much more reflective of the online world and as more and more get used to Google+ so they interaction statistics are on the up. The Google+ community is reported growing faster than any other social network and as it builds so will engagement for brands, both those selling B2B and those interested in B2C, helping join-up online marketing regimes.
So that’s the myths rebuffed what about the more positive features that make Google+ a must have for any forward thinking business and marketeer?
Engagement factor is high
Whilst the community size has lagged behind other social media platforms, the community that has and does exist on Google+ is a fairly unique one with a desire to engage, get involved and share. Whilst reaching your traditional audience on Google+ could appear tough, it is very easy to reach out to the existing Google+ audience and get them to connect with you and buy-in. The platform is full of tech and marketing savvy potential brand ambassadors whatever your line of work and engaging them will work wonders for your business across the digital marketing sphere.
It’s built for targeting
You probably read a lot about segmenting, personalisation and targeted content? Well Google+ has that built in as a main feature. Placing people in circles you can use those classifications to then post content only relevant to those people and ensure those less likely to be interested aren’t frustrated by unwanted posts in their timeline. For really important posts you can even choose to email a certain circle of people too.
There’s SEO value
OF course we will ever know how Google’s algorithms really work, but what does appear to be clear is that social media posts are key to successful modern SEO and that sharing on Google+ gives your content that little extra boost in terms of quicker indexing – if only because the Google+ platform pages are super-optimised for googlebot interaction. While you are researching the platform you will also see that Google+ is awash with SEO experts – even more so than Twitter – and experts being experts they wouldn’t spend time building activity on a second-rate platform.
It integrates with other Google products
That really is the big selling point that has seen more and more businesses step over onto the platform. We’ve grown to love and integrate Google into our lives through free features like Google Search , Google Analytics and YouTube, helping make us more accepting of paid for tools like Google AdWords. Once you start using Google+ you will soon realise you feel you actually already know it. The cross-over and integration is often subtle but very clever and you will soon be using tools together.
Like anything new, there is fear and caution with platforms such as Google+, but spend a little time and you will soon begin to realise the potential for your business. That potential you discover is also probably only the tip of the iceberg too. Even the experts seem to be discovering new things daily and being a child of Google means new tweaks, add-ons and integrations appear much faster than on other social media platforms.
If you aren’t on Google+ yet, or making use of little more than just basic presence you are missing out. Google+ should be fully integrated into your marketing strategy and beyond into the way you run your business – using tools like Google+ Hangouts which is effectively a group video chat that can even broadcast and or record straight into YouTube.
Have you got to hang of Google+ yet? We’d love to know your experiences.