Why Social Media Agencies Are Looking at Google+ One More Time
Forget what you think you know about Google+. If you spend much time listening to mainstream media (or competitive social media sites and statistics), chances are you have the wrong impression. In fact, most social media agencies are confronted with a lot of mis-information, mistakes and outright myths when it comes to the true value of Google+. Today we are going to spend a bit of time explaining why Google+ is great for small business and educating entrepreneurs on the benefits of getting in on the ground floor of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Mark our words: Google+ has a terrific platform, but it still is a red headed stepchild compared to Facebook. Businesses should only look to moving to Google+ AFTER they have a well designed Facebook Timeline, great engagement, well designed targeted PPC campaign, and are looking for another means to tap potential customers.
To hear the mainstream media, Google + has received a sluggish response but in fact, Google has actually outperformed nearly every other social media site in existence. Within the first few months, Google+ has reached more than 90 million users making is the most successful social media launch – EVER. Okay, so Google+ is big but is it actually better? That’s a good question and one worth an in depth response. Apparently users believe Google+ has something special to offer; an estimated 60 percent of Google+ users log in daily (as compared to only 50 percent of Twitter types) and 80 percent log in at least once each week.
Google+ Gets Indexed
We’ve already established that Google+ is off to a bigger start than any other social media site but does it actually provide a better competitive advantage? It’s a fair question and the answer is “sort of.” Google+ does allow a small business owner some distinct advantages over other social media sites in terms of indexing and visibility. Because Google+ is designed to seamlessly integrate with the traditional search and other features contained within the Google family, small business owners are able to increase visibility via the inclusion of a Google+ presence much faster than other options.
Google+ Shared Insight
Social media consultants have long understood the value of Google + but perhaps no area inspires more admiration than the combined analytics. Google has always made data a top priority for small business success but the new insights provide the power of information once reserved for only the largest corporations. Information like this is critical to the success of any social media marketing campaign but the benefits don’t stop there. Google+ makes it easy to share all types of information across a variety of different platforms. For example, YouTube video’s, photographs, search results, personalized circles based upon pre-established areas of interest and much more. Each relationship or functions is able to provide unique insight into the mindset, spending patterns and behavior of the user; information that allows marketing professionals to obtain the best results with the least cost.
Google+ is Great for Users but Better for Business!
Sure, Google+ has some fine features to offer the average user but what about small business owners? Actually, this is where Google+ really differentiates itself as a social media marketing tool; unlike Facebook or Twitter that were designed around casual users and later adapted for business marketing, Google+ was designed with business in mind from the ground up. It’s different in some very important ways. For instance, take the simple process of sharing information. On a site like Twitter, a small business owner is allowed to blast a very quick, very short little tidbit of information that has a relatively rapid half-life. Facebook provides a bit more space and duration to entertain the masses but still lacks when it comes to enhancing overall reputation, search results or anything beyond the basic social sharing network. Google+ solves all those limitations and offers small business owners even more.
The Anatomy of a Message
To truly understand how different Google+ is, let’s follow a hypothetical message posted to a small business page. Your business has a page but so do you; people tend to only be interested in a business to the degree it solves their problem, offers a discount or otherwise is able to improve their life. In short – you are your business! By sharing information about yourself, your business, your solutions and so forth it allows clients and prospective customers to make informed and educated decisions. This builds a brand by allowing people to get a clear picture of what you offer, what you think and even what you are reading. Other relationships, followers and complex associations fill in the information gaps. Of course, each interaction is compiled into a complete package that not only enhances Google search ratings but provides a comprehensive repository of important information.
Each message is able to act in a different capacity but basically falls into one or more of these categories:
1. Educating followers. Followers are like “friends” or “fans” – these are people that have an established social media presence. The more your followers interact, the more they get to know your business and the more you get to know about them.
2. Expand customer service. Offer help video’s, interact via email or forums, even establish an ongoing FAQ presence staffed by other fans or followers. The options are nearly endless. Remember, search results are now affected by Google+ connections and relationships with experts predicting that relationships will soon overtake links in search importance!
3. Enhance community. Savvy small business owners recognize the importance of connecting with a larger community…even if it’s halfway around the world. For instance, a local bonsai enthusiast offers individualized instruction, a monthly meeting and video lessons from experts around the world. By selective use of social media, a once isolated area now has a world-class experience in a niche area…and the former bonsai enthusiast has created a new business idea! Best of all, users love the entire experience as they create new content and spread it far and wide…along with great information on how to order supplies from their favorite provider.