2013 was the year that will be known in social media circles for being the one when Google+ usurped Twitter for the number two spot behind Facebook in terms of active user numbers. However, businesses still have some way to go in developing their social media strategies to the point that they’re using Google+ more than Twitter. One of the reasons for the underuse of Google+ as a digital marketing tool is that many businesses don’t understand how to use it nor are aware of the various tools available to help them make the most of their presence on this particular social network.
In order to drive understanding around what Google+ can offer to businesses from a digital marketing perspective, we’ve looked at five of the best Google+ tools available.
If you adopt the same posting strategy across all your social media accounts then Friends+Me is a great tool to use. This tool allows you to connect all of your other social accounts to Google+, and will then look up your account on a regular basis and post any updates to Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else you’re maintaining a presence.
You can also use Friends+Me’s configuration settings to change what content gets shared to certain social networks. This is excellent if you plan to adopt Google+ as your main online social presence and want to use the other social networking sites to target specific audiences. You’re also able to schedule when things are shared, so if you want to post something to Google+ in the morning but target Facebook users when they arrive home from work, or LinkedIn users at lunchtime, you can fine tune your strategy accordingly.
Play around with Friends+Me and you’ll find yourself developing some excellent social strategies using Google+ as your foundation.
We’re now looking at the different social analysis tools you have at your disposal that can help you understand what it is you’re doing well and where you can improve. Adobe Social is probably the best tool out there for bringing all of your social marketing data to one place, allowing you to monitor your whole social process from initially posting content, to how this engages or builds a relationship, and then how it impacts on your site visits.
Crucially, Adobe Social creates a report that measures social success against business performance, a must have analysis tool for anyone looking to diversify traffic sources or focus on social traffic. This is great for those who struggle to understand or monitor Google+, but can be equally as effective for other social platforms, too.
For those who are looking to really focus on Google+ and make it their main social platform, All My + Statistics is a superb monitoring tool. You can track everything in as simple or as complex a manner as you please, from the total number of posts to how often you earn a +1 or a content share. You can even dig down and see who is sharing your content the most. This is excellent for discovering business partnership opportunities and even for connecting with bloggers or potential clients.
There are numerous blogs and checklist style posts on the internet that are useful for understanding whether your social profile is as good as it should be, while many sites also have a “profile completeness” tracker that suggests other things you should do to improve it.
There aren’t many out and out auditing tools, however, which is where Steady Demand can prove to be of value to your Google+ profile. What makes it even better is that the audit is free, so you can make the necessary changes you need to in order to strengthen your presence, while the add on analytics tool is paid if you want to invest in it.
Taken the time to develop your Google+ account but now find that you don’t have anyone following it? Assuming your regular social sharing buttons on your website are struggling to have any impact, add a widget that shows your latest updates and includes a follow button. The Google+ widget from Widget Plus will do the job nicely, and give your Google+ account a bigger presence on all of your website pages.
These Google+ tools can all have an impact on your social strategy and enable you to get more out of your Google+ presence, particularly if you are only now starting to adopt the use of this social network. Select the Google+ tools you need to improve the social side of your digital marketing output.