I’ll be the first to admit that when Google Plus first launched back in 2011, I thought it was pointless. Even up until last year, I just saw it as a big void in the digital marketing world. But then something happened.
I started dabbling around with Southern States’ Google+ pages, and I immediately began to recognize what an invaluable resource it is. After about a week of being completely encompassed by Google+, taking a beginners course, building up my own page and that of some coworkers, I was hooked. I guess you could say that I drank the Google Plus Kool-aid, and here’s why you should too!
What makes Google Plus different from other social media?
There are so many social media outlets, you might feel overwhelmed by the options. It’s important to know what exactly makes Google+ different than the others.
1. Search Results: One major way Google+ is different is that it is heavily integrated with search results. If you’re at all interested in SEO (and you should be) then this is the place for you. Think about it- Google+ is the the brain child of Google itself, so it obviously is going to have an impact on your search engine ranking. This is the portal into the “Google Machine”, so take advantage!
2. Hashtags: Now hashtags are nothing new. It was actually Twitter that first brought the idea of a hashtag onto the digital scene, but unlike Twitter where hashtags do not have a long life span, Google+ hashtags don’t disappear! That’s phenomenal news for search results.
3. Unified Login: Google has made it so that everything is in one place, and integrates seamlessly with Gmail, Google Docs, Analytics, YouTube etc.
4. Group Video Chat: This feature known as “Hangouts” is unique in that it allows you to group chat with up to ten people at once. Think of the brainstorming sessions you could have!
5.Optimum Control: Unlike social media sites such as Facebook, Google+ does not make you follow someone just because they began following you. It allows for a one-way relationship, which personally I LOVE because I can pick and choose the posts that I see from others.
So, why should your business or brand be using Google Plus?
- Think Google+ is a ghost town? Think again! It has a large user-base with about 300 million active users each month and about 540 million members all together. That’s a large audience you’ll definitely want to reach!
- It offers the greatest added benefits to a search engine. When customers look up your site, they will have direct access to maps, hours, contact information and of course, your actual website.
- One of the biggest benefits of Google+ is the review section. Reviews (positive ones at least) can hugely impact your business. People would much rather use a good or service that has been highly recommended by another person.
- With Google Hangouts, you have free live video conferencing at your fingertips. You can connect with your customers and fans in a whole new way on social media, at no cost to you!
- Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you should consider that it is part of the most prominent of all search engines, and profiles that do well on Google+ more often do better on Google as a whole.
Your customers are probably already using Google Plus in some form or fashion, so it would be a worth-while investment to be on there too. If you have little or even no marketing budget, and want to gain recognition online, Google+ is a no brainer! So what are you waiting for?