Following the post on social media, it is only right that we dive head first into one of these social media platforms. So, what should it be? The “dying giant” Facebook? Maybe Twitter, who is gaining popularity and it has been showing in their stock prices. Or, even LinkdIn, the social media platform that is more related to business. No, this post will be dedicated to the butt of most jokes about social media platforms: Google Plus.
Oh, Google Plus… You are trying so hard. It is quite a commendable effort, I’ll give you that. But, where did you go wrong? Some would make the argument that you never did anything wrong, per se, and in fact, I would say you did a lot of things right. For one, it is amazing for businesses. For one, the “like” system (in Google Plus denoted by +1), makes it easier for SEO based on popularity. In fact, it is the best signal in ranking factors, as seen here. If your company is linked to a Google Plus (or G+ as the kids are calling it nowadays,
hooligans) when your company is searched on Google, then the profile is seen on the right hand side of screen, thanks to the newest update that Google has implemented. From there, the customer can then go right to your page and see what you are up to, such as posts you have put up recently and where they can find you, both online (website) and in real life (address of your business).
In regards to an inbound marketing campaign, G+ is a fantastic resource to utilize. One of the best resources available currently is Google Authorship. This allows you to link back to articles that you have written, columns or companies that you are currently writing for, guest blogs you have done in the past, etc… Essentially, links all of the content that you have created back to your G+ profile. And, because G+ is a part of Google (SURPRISE), the content that has been created, and your company who created it are linked together, further increasing your SEO. That’s pretty good, right?! Also, the complete integration of G+ with your Google profile allows for an easier consolidation of information. Want an example?
Say you are a having an event at your company, like a trivia night. You could go onto your company’s Facebook and create an event page, and have people say they are going to go. Simple, right? Well, with G+ you can do the same thing. Go to your profile, create an event, and have people say they are going to go. Those are pretty much the same, right? G+ takes it a bit further, by integrating that with your Google Calender and you Gmail account. The person who says they are going can easily add the even to their Google Calender, and then they will get reminders about the even as it draws nearer. And with Google
owning Android developing and maintaining the Android OS for phones, that event will go right into your phone’s calender, so you can get a notification if you aren’t on a computer. It’s all tying together!
G+ is like the cool new kid
One more really cool, notable aspect about G+ for your business is the use of the Local Business feature. This is a bit different than Google Places for Business. Google Places for Business is more reliant on how optimized your website is. For example, if you are looking up something, such as a business where you can buy office supplies, the first businesses that come up would probably be Office Max, Office Depot, and Staples. However, Google recently launched their “Local Results Carousel” , which helps smaller businesses get noticed. This works by rotating smaller, local businesses on the front page so that they get more exposure. That is an aspect of Google Places. With Google Plus Local, your G+ account will look like a Google Places for Business, but it will integrate your +1’s, as well as your entire G+ profile (pictures, posts, etc). It’s a pretty cool system, and for more on how the two systems differ, check this article out.
So, G+ seems to be pretty much the best social media platform around, right? It’s a lot like Facebook, only you can separate who sees what content you put out, the integration with your Google account is pretty awesome, and the SEO aspect alone should be enough to get your business to start using it. But, why aren’t people using it?
For one, a lot of people already have social media sites that they maintain, the most prevalent being Facebook and Twitter. G+ was sort of late to the social media game and was left behind, even though they do offer a better service in a variety of different ways. Also, there have been some announcements lately that said any G+ user can email any other G+ user, without their consent. That’s a big deal. Granted, the person who sends the email needs to be a “Follower” of the person they are emailing, but you can start to follow someone without their consent. Well, the users both also need to be users of Gmail, but odds are, they both use it as their primary email service. There is a way to opt-out of receiving these emails, but it’s the notion of it that have people up in arms over it. This new policy can easily lead to some privacy issues.
Reference: The Wire
For the other part of this post, I’ll briefly mention a Twitter conversation I was a part of yesterday. It mainly involved people in the marketing field (B2B focused) and the topic was about gatekeepers. Pretty much the facilitator would ask a question, then people would reply to them with their answers (the use of the hashtag was also required). Overall, it was a rather interesting experience. Some of the people were giving tips on how to get around these gatekeepers (most ethically, others not). I learned a few new things, but for the most part it was a refresher on the main functions of the gatekeeper and why they are so important (I came in towards the end of the conversation). Overall, I think twitter conversations are a pretty good idea. They allow for the fast transfer of information, and let a wider audience see what you have to say. If I have the opportunity to, I would participate in one again.