In January 2013 it was announced that Google+ had overtaken Twitter to become the number two social network on the internet, ranked in terms of number of users, behind only Facebook. While Google+ is getting bigger all the time, many businesses still don’t have a presence on this social network.
Most of these businesses have claimed their Google+ Local listing, so it isn’t like they’re unaware of the range of services Google can offer. Most will also have a Google Webmaster Tools account, which they need a Google account to access, meaning they’ve probably encountered Google+ at some point already.
However, businesses continue to target Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as their primary focusses. There are many reasons why businesses should be using Google+. Here are five of them.
Many people dislike Google and don’t have a Google+ account purely because they don’t like having one account that links everything together. However, Google’s integrated approach can be used to your advantage when it comes to your digital marketing strategy.
Among Google’s other platforms you can integrate with are Blogger, YouTube, and Google Docs. All of these can become a part of your digital marketing strategy. How can you make this happen?
You can maintain a Blogger account separately from your business blog – both on a personal and professional basis – and create exclusive content for Google+ followers as well as deliver a different type of content that might not fit your website or brand. The exclusivity element is something you can then use on your own website to drive follows and connections.
Video marketing is going to be one of the biggest growth areas of 2014 across the board when it comes to digital marketing.YouTube is the natural home for your video marketing; put them on here and then embed to your website as well as sharing across Google+ and your other social media accounts.
Using Google Docs for digital marketing enables you to provide exclusive White Papers and Case Studies, if they’re a part of your strategy, and is another tool to help you drive social followers and conversions later down the line.
Google integration might seem like a pain sometimes, but if you look at it through a positive lens, you’ll unlock a whole range of opportunities.
Digital marketing is often about more than just the numbers, but it is hard to argue against using Google+ when there is a potential target audience of 500million members across the world.
From a brand building perspective, most of the big names in all industries are now maintaining a Google+ presence, so an added benefit is that you’ll be able to add key influencers to your Google+ circles and start connecting with them. This, in turn, could lead to you building relationships with these key influencers and see your on-site and social media content shared more often and consequently seen by many more sets of eyes.
You should also consider that a content share is generally seen as an endorsement. The biggest name in your industry shares a piece of your content, effectively saying that you’ve done a great job. Imagine the positive impact that could have!
While Google Authorship is about your personal account rather than your business one, it is something that could provide a lucrative boost to your website. As the internet becomes more of a personal and interconnected medium, people are increasingly looking to put names to faces. Usually, this means after reading an article that they’ll Google the author’s name and look to connect with them through whatever social media websites they’re present on.
With Google Authorship, there’s a face to the name as soon as the article appears in Google search. As well as connecting quicker, readers will also be able to look at the rest of your content and see that you’re an authoritative voice when it comes to your subject area.
Although Google keep saying that social shares don’t influence the search algorithm, you’ll see benefits over time if you embrace Google Authorship, as demonstrated in this Moz blog post from 2013.
Google Hangouts are free to set up and organise, and much easier to plan than having to send out emails inviting newsletter subscribers to a webinar or getting people to log into things like GoToMeeting.
The potential for Google Hangouts to be beneficial is huge. You might decide to hold a Q&A session using Google Hangouts. Again, the added “name to a face” feeling and the more personal touch as opposed to a Twitter or Facebook Q&A will work wonders here. You can also use a Google Hangout to discuss a new product or service you’re launching, or to respond to some feedback you have. You can also use it for its most basic purpose and simply organise people to come together and chat about your industry: a networking event without having to pay out for champagne or canapés!
Google’s search algorithm for Google.com and their algorithms for social search aren’t one and the same. If you have a Google+ account then it’s another place where you can showcase your business and potentially grab extra traffic. Even if you’re struggling to rank highly for keywords within Google search, there’s nothing to stop you being successful when it comes to search within Google+.
Put simply, you have to be using Google+. The range of benefits and possibilities you gain by using this social media site, and the rest of Google’s integrated platforms, is too much to ignore, no matter how small your business operation.