Google+ | 8.1.13
Sure, Google+ might’ve had a really rough start. From the beginning, it was the mysterious cool kid who quickly turned unpopular and complicated, receiving many furrowed brows and confused looks. However, just passing its two-year anniversary, it looks like it’s here to stay. So if you haven’t already included this remarkable platform into your social media mix, here’s our take on why you should.
The Growth of Google+
Google+ is the second largest social media platform (500 million users), not far behind Facebook (693 million users). And Google+ has seen a 27% increase in users in just the last three months.* Searchmetrics even suggested last month that if the trend continues, social sharing on Google+ “will overtake Facebook in less than three years in February 2016”.
And what could be more helpful with putting you in the forefront of Google searches than a social platform made by Google?
What’s so great about Google+?
Hangouts – These immediate, completely free video chats allow an unlimited number of people to join- no downloads required. All you have to do is connect your Google account through your Google+ page. Easily connect with contacts and join chats and conversations of all types (including friends like Barack Obama and David Beckham). Create real-time videos and instantly connect them to your YouTube account to edit and publicize.
Circles – Google+ allows you to add all types of people to your network, not just friends and family. Sort contacts by friends, acquaintances, co-workers, business contacts, etc. and choose which ones you’d like to share content with. Anything you share, whether publicly or privately, is only viewable by those in your circles. Once a user adds you to their circle, they are allowing you to send them emails – highly valuable for your email marketing.
Communities – Users have the ability to connect with others who have the same interests and hobbies. Very similar to the initial version of Facebook groups, users have the ability to create public or private groups for discussion and sharing content. You can even join communities as a brand, something not yet possible on Facebook. As a result, this gives you huge opportunities for building influencers, relationships, and search engine credibility.
Despite its growing pains, Google+ possesses many aspects that give it potential to surpass all other social media soon. It has the ability to interactively integrate many components of a typical web presence – email, video, blog, search engine optimization, social media- that many others just can’t. With its ability to create and talk to niche groups, easily integrate and share content, create and chat via video, G+ has been able to build a network of focused, engaged, digitally active individuals.
Getting started on Google+:
- LINK YOUR WEBSITE to your Google+ Account. This is really easy to do and helps immensely with your SEO. Here are directions on how to do that: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1713826?hl=en.
- INTRODUCTIONS are important. Tell people what you’re all about. Be sure to include key words and links that connect users to your website and other platforms (most other social networks don’t allow you to do this). Also, take advantage of the formatting G+ provides, such as bullet points to help quickly convey your message.
- GET A +1 BUTTON to include with all your other share buttons on your website. Users will be more likely to endorse your website.
- CONTENT that varies and includes rich images and videos works really well on Google+.
- #HASHTAGS can be used on Google+, just like many other networks. G+ will even automatically generate one for you. The default hashtag will be pretty accurate, just be sure to check it on the top right side of your post.
Check out Small Screen Producer’s free eBook, “Google+ For Business” for more tips on how you can incorporate Google+ and other social media into your strategy.