Another social media site? You may have heard of Google+, and it’s no secret that it didn’t take off like Facebook and Twitter did. However, Google is revamping things and Google+ is constantly getting updates, changes and mini makeovers.
The catch? All of these changes are truly great, and it’s time for you to get on the bandwagon. Google+ Pages drastically upped the ante on this social media platform and welcomed more than 40 million users in a little over two months. It’s time to stop comparing Google+ to other social media sites, because it just became a behemoth in its own right with a very different approach.
Your Customers are Googling It
1) You’re not just integrating into Google+ when you start using this platform. You’re becoming a part of Google itself, and your customers will see your profile when they search for things related to you. Let’s say a potential customer is Googling about deterring skunks, which just happens to be your SEO key phrase. Your Google+ profile might just pop up on the right side of the search results.
2) The little Google +1 button has taken brand recognition and support to a new level. People are now able to easily recommend your website or business with one click. This means you can build an army of support behind what you do, and it’s as easy as possible. Forget customer testimonials, because nothing says “fabulous company” like a generous peppering of +1s.
Speak to Your Customers
3) The use of circles helps you easily separate your consumers into neat categories. Facebook has the ability to form different groups, and you can always customize who sees your posts. However, Google+ makes it easy to assign people into circles so that you can easily direct marketing efforts to different crowds. If you have both a teen market and a retiree market, they have different needs and there won’t be any crossover.
4) Using Google+ also makes advertising much easier. You probably already know that Google AdWords is a great tool, and integrating it with Google+ is very simple. Google Analytics plays well with Google+ and you’re working with a company that has a number of (free) tools at your disposal. Facebook might have finally gotten around to focusing on businesses, but Google has had that in the bag for years.
Ahead of the Game
5) It’s no secret that video integration is the next phase for marketing, from video emails to the rising popularity of Google TV. Google+ works well with YouTube and of course Google TV, so it’s already ahead of the game in that arena. If you’re looking to focus more on video marketing strategies, you probably already know how tricky that can be with other social media platforms. Google+ makes it easy with few bugs to work out.
6) Are you a Farmville addict and can’t imagine giving that up? Google+ understands your passion, which is why the company is focusing on games within its own social media platform. The recent release of Google+ games, along with the $100 million invested in Zynga in one year, is proof of its commitment to keeping you entertained. It’s about time a new platform for gaming came around, and Google is happy to fill that void.
Let’s Customize This
7) The biggest advantage for some is Google’s allowance of third-party developers. Google+ is a work in progress and likely always will be (which is a good thing). Google welcomes developers to work on apps and expand the platform far beyond what any company can do solo. Unlike other social media platforms, users aren’t stuck within the confines of what’s available and can have a real stake in it.
If you’re not already on Google+, surely the little +1 button has caught your eye. It’s understandable that people are wary about joining yet another social media platform, but we’ve just about outgrown other options. Small business owners need to stay on the cutting edge, and if you’re not on Google+, you just might be missing out on customers. An added bonus is that building a Google+ profile isn’t nearly as demanding as Facebook, and it only takes a few minutes to set up a truly comprehensive profile.
What You’ll Need
You don’t need much to get started with Google+. The basic profile will ask for a photo, location, job, education and a couple of very optional bonus fields. You won’t feel required to list every favorite quote in your book or create a photo gallery with hundreds of images. In fact, Google+ only allows for one profile picture, so that helps keep things simple.
There was a time in the MySpace era when people adored quizzes and spent hours changing their profile. Those days are long gone, and now it’s all about making things quick and easy. Google+ gets that, and that’s exactly what it’s designed for. Try it out, start controlling circles, and find out just what Google+ can do for you.