Social media marketing is a vastly underrated aspect of SEO and digital marketing. As it stands today, brands and businesses absolutely need a social media presence to be a competitive force in their industries. Social media marketing is, you could say, just another necessary evil of good marketing. And Google+ is just playing the game – really well.
What is Google+?
The mention of social media usually brings to mind the ‘Big 3′ for most people – Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But what about Google’s sweet social media offspring, Google+ You’ve heard of it – you’re probably even on it (all Gmail users automatically have a Google+ account), but do you know anything about it? Well, if you’re a business or a brand hoping to execute a solid social media marketing campaign, you definitely should.
During the initial launch in June 2011, Google claimed that the “Google+ Project” would be different than any other social media platform by creating a more “human” experience of connecting and sharing.
“Not all relationships are created equal,” Google stated on their official blog. “So in life we share one thing with college buddies, another with parents, and almost nothing with our boss. The problem is that today’s online services turn friendship into fast food-wrapping everyone in “friend” paper-and sharing really suffers.”
By introducing features like Hangouts and Circles, Google+ introduced a more personalized experience for sharing content where you wanted with whom you wanted – but was anyone really using it?
Turns out, they were.
Social Media Marketing on Google+
Believe it or not, Google+ stands as the second largest social media network surpassing Twitter in active monthly users and losing out only to its arch nemesis, Facebook. The numbers gathered by Global Web Index showed that by June 2012, Google+ had risen to 269 million users. Granted only about 135 million of these users were reported to be active, but it is still a significant number enough to be ignored for social media marketing.
But even if you’re not “actively” using Google+ for personal use, it’s important your business is taking advantage to tap into these numbers. Why? Because it’s Google – and they have cleverly integrated their search engine prowess with Google+ to help index your posts to show up in search results. Here are a few more reasons you should be harnessing the social media marketing power of Google+ for your brand or business:
1. Communities: Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Google+ allows you to join or create communities around interests in which you can contribute posts, connect with future customers or fellow professionals, and stay in the loop on the latest in the industry.
2. Hangouts: Having a Google+ account for your business allows the ability to interact via chat or video with your customers, offering them an added feel of personalization and a human connection. Considering that 73% of people reported they would use social customer service, this is a super useful tool that you can use for free to increase your company’s presence.
3. Reviews: Verifying your business with Google Places is like adding your name to the ultimate Yellow Pages. After you’re on the map, you can ask your customers to leave you reviews, which will then show up alongside your listing and Google+ page on Google. And it goes without saying that building trust for your business is one of the key goals of a good social media marketing campaign.
Google+ is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools a company can use to increase its online presence, but it seems that it’s still under the radar for many. Even though few are talking about it, it’s for sure that lots of people are definitely using it. In the land of Google+, a giant is indeed looming!