I specifically remember the summer Google Plus launched. A friend of mine—a member of the post-Facebook movement—wanted us all to delete our Facebook profiles and join the rebellion. I remember thinking “what could Google Plus offer in terms of social networking that Facebook doesn’t already master?”
On a personal consumer level, this is a question I am still figuring out. On a B2C level, however, the social marketing benefits associated with Google Plus are undeniable.
Why Google Plus for Social Marketing?
In order to understand why your business should be using Google Plus for social marketing, you must first understand what Google Plus is, what it does, and what it doesn’t do.
Google Plus is a social networking platform launched by Google Inc. in June, 2011. Google Plus’ popularity stems from a handful of unique social attributes that can double as effective content marketing tools for your business:
What most clearly sets Google Plus apart from its competitors is its use of Circles. Circles enable users to organize contacts into groups for content sharing across several Google services. Simple and secure enough, but imagine being able to group all of your customers into one group that receives your social marketing content directly through their individual Streams (Google Plus’ version of Facebook’s “wall,” except this bad boy can be filtered to show individual Circles); imagine the possibility for lead generation!
The Hangout feature allows users to video chat with members in their Circles. The value of a face-to-face setting with your customers for post-sale information, troubleshooting, promotions, etc. is unimaginable. Emailing customer support and promotions? Good; Tweeting them? Better; Video-chatting them? Priceless.
The +1 feature is similar to “liking” something on Facebook--only with more online authority for your business’ content. +1 is a stamp of approval that can be applied to your business’ content on Google Plus and even to individual webpages.
Search engine “crawlers” consider +1’s when copying the web, so enough of them will move your company’s webpage up the Google Search index and drive traffic to your site—if your content is valuable enough, your business will obtain the leads it needs.
Creating a Google Plus Brand Page allows your business to position itself through several of Google’s helpful aforementioned services—think more free SEO. Brand Pages link to your company’s website, and companies with a Google Plus Brand Page have a higher chance of showing up in Google Search.
According to Google, 1 million+ business and brand pages were created within the first 6 months of Google Plus’ life. It is not too late for your company to reap the benefits of first-mover advantage!
Tips for Optimizing Your Social Marketing Strategy Using Google Plus
So what are you waiting for? Create a Google Plus profile for your business today and start creating content…but before you do, have some advice on the house: