UPDATE: GOOGLE PLUS IS ALL BUT GONE!
I know what you’re thinking… “Not another social media site.”
If you currently manage your company’s social media presence you know it can take time. It can take effort. It can be frustrating.
From building a following to increasing engagement and coming up with fresh content, it’s no secret that social media management takes a lot of work. So the thought of adding yet another website to your list of marketing must-haves probably seems a bit daunting. But before you lose interest, hear me out.
It’s true, there are countless social media sites out there, and determining which ones offer the best return on your time investment can be difficult. We all know of the big ones like Facebook and Twitter. And chances are probably use a few other sites as well, like LinkedIn or Instagram. You may even have an account on the social media site that this blog is about, but you probably don’t utilize it as often as you should. I’m talking about Google+.
Google+ never really developed the strong following that many other social media sites have, and to be frank, it never garnished the instant popularity associated with just about every other Google product created. But by no means does that make Google+ a flop. In fact, I would argue Google+ is more important for businesses than Instagram or even Twitter.
It’s owned by Google. When I need an electrician, an interior designer, or a tailor, I turn to Google first, and you probably do, too. There are 40,000 Google searches processed every second. You know how I know that? I googled it. So, when you post something on your company’s Google+ page, you are essentially populating your own Google search results. You are telling Google what you want it to know about you.
Customer reviews on your page. In today’s world, a customer review carries a lot of weight. Research shows that people trust online reviews almost as much as they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know. Potential clients or customers will often seek out online reviews before spending money on a product or service. Unlike other popular review websites like Yelp.com, Google reviews will link directly to your Google+ page. These reviews can serve as testimonials for your business, and along with those testimonials will be your company’s contact information, address, website and other pertinent information that customers will need to find you.
Integration across multiple platforms. One of the best things about Google+ is the services and platforms with which it directly integrates. Google owns YouTube, as well as Blogger, so anything you post on your YouTube channel or on Blogger can automatically post to your Google+ page. It also integrates fluidly with Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Analytics, and Google Maps just to name a few. Another feature of Google+ that can make it valuable to businesses is Google Hangouts. This feature is a video chat service, similar to Skype, but it offers a much better production quality. You can utilize screen shares and add music or sound effects. And it automatically records, so you can instantly save or share your Hangout after the live element is over.
You’re probably already on it. If you have a Gmail account, you already have Google+, you probably just don’t use it. Ninety percent of all Google+ pages are empty. So why not start filling yours up with the type of content that will help you stand out against your competitors online?
When it comes to building your brand, there is no such thing as putting too much good information out there. And by utilizing platforms that your competitors are not, you just might connect with customers or clients no one else is reaching.
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