With more than 343 million users, Google+ is the second largest social and business network, and one that demands your attention.
While most inbound marketing plans are likely to relegate Google+ to the second tier of social networks, that can be a huge disservice to your business development strategy.
With the new changes made to the platform just under two weeks ago, we will most likely see the popularity of Google+ grow over the next several months.
Google+ can attribute some of its ferocious growth to the enormous market share of its progenitor but there are also a number of unique benefits that this social network provides that can help leverage growth for your business.
Before investing your precious marketing dollars into a Google+ initiative, you should, as always, evaluate your social media marketing plan and make sure your objectives are clearly defined.
Google+ users currently tend to skew towards the male and technical professions with web designers as one of the largest user groups. Furthermore, users tend to check into their accounts less often than other networks.
There are some significant advantages to having a strong presence on Google+, including:
- SEO—Google+ is intimately connected with the search engine Google, so increased activity on the social network contributes to a higher ranking on search results. Google’s search engine pays particular attention to your company’s popularity on Google+. Any time invested sharing content, collecting followers and receiving 1+’s for your company page and/or posts you share helps. In some cases, merely sharing content related to your business’ keywords on Google+ is enough to move your ranking up.
- Segmentation—The Circles feature on Google+ allows you to more easily segment your followers so that they can receive a customized message particular to their market characteristics. This may require more investment to create segment-specific engagement, but the strength of responses among these groups should spike significantly. Furthermore, this compartmentalization provides a buffer if a specific message strikes a wrong chord with a group.
- Communities—Along the same lines of the “circles” feature, is the Communities feature. You can search for specific communities where you can share content relevant to those communities. Within each community there are often segmented topics. Furthermore, for each post you share, Google+ now auto suggests what hash tags to use to even further help categorize your content. This makes it so your content can specifically reach a very niche target.
- Endorsement—Similar to the Like feature on Facebook, the +1 feature endorses a web page. Unlike Facebook, however, Google+ has a partnership with the world’s leading search engine that can makes +1s significantly more important than Facebook Likes.
- Google+ Local—This feature of Google+ allows users to zero in on businesses in their immediate area. This functionality integrates well with mobile users who are in a hurry to find a store that satisfies an urgent need. This feature also allows users in close proximity to develop a stronger relationship with or awareness of your company.
Thinking about creating a Google+ page for your business now?
First, create your public profile with a tagline and an aesthetically pleasing photo. Most importantly, explore other companies in your market niche and identify possible followers to engage.
Your company may not have the marketing budget to be active on every major social network, but Google+ presents serious benefits that should convince you to at least consider it as a component in your inbound marketing strategy. With the ability to raise your search rankings and increase traffic, at least a minimal presence on Google+ is probably a wise endeavor.
If you’d like to learn more about how to generate leads with social media, click the link below to download our ebook!