You may or may not have heard that there’s a new kid on the social media block.
Yes Google wants a piece of the social media market, but the big players like Facebook and Twitter aren’t going to play ball. So Google has decided to fight to fight fire with fire, and launch its own social network Google+. Now, if all things were equal, then you’d put your money on Google+ being the right platform to choose: the search giant is, after all, top of the pile and, despite the best efforts of Bing, without equal. The dominance is so emphatic that the word Google has now become a verb – which is really going some if you ask me. Unfortunately all things are not equal. For all its search dominance, Google + is lagging way behind in terms of social media popularity.
Despite an initial surge in interest, Google+ is now reputed to have 40 million or so subscribers.
Not bad in truth, but contrast that with Facebook’s figures of 800 million. If you were an SME, which would you choose to market your products? Facebook obviously: it’s got a massive audience and is the predominant social platform. So, is it really worth adding Google+ to your social media mix? Should SMEs even bother trying to set up a Google+ account, or should they stick with what they know best – Facebook and Twitter?
What makes Google+ different from other social networks?
Obviously Google+ shares many characteristics with most of the other social networks. So, is there anything that differentiates it from Facebook? Has it got any unusual features?
Hangouts allow you to connect with others by video conferencing with multiple people.
By classifying your followers into circles, you are able to selectively share information. You can share with everyone, or just one of your circles.
After turning this feature on in your settings, your Google + page appears when users type: “+ [your company]” into the Google search bar.
Google search results now have a +1 option, where users can +1 your page. This adds to your SEO rank and popularity, and allows others on Google to see what interests their friends.
How to make your SME’s Google+ page stand out from the rest.
If your SME decides that it likes what Google+ is offering, then there are certain things you can do to make it work for you: call them best practices if you’d prefer:
Share lots of photos.
Images, charts or slides you share on Google+ spark conversations and increase spread of your content.
Add Recommended Links.
Adding links to blog articles and lead-generation offers drive more traffic and leads for your business.
Promote your Google+ page on your blog and website.
Websites using Google+ button get 3.5 times the Google+ visits.
Encourage people to share your posts.
Asking your subscribers to share your content spreads it to the people in their circles.
Analyse traffic and leads from Google+.
By looking at the traffic and leads that have been driven from Google+, you are able to see how it is working for your business.