Are you still deciding whether it’s worth investing in Google Plus?
If you work in social media, chances are you’re already on it because …well, that’s your job. If you’re a small business owner, you’re likely one of the millions who signed on during the hype, got dizzy going around in “circles” then abandoned it, leaving your page to lie there like a dead leaf on wet pavement.
The number one Google+ question I get is not:
“How do I get started on Google+?”
Nope. It’s… “Do we really need another social media platform”?
Do we really need another type of tablet, smartphone, or toothpaste?
Ok, maybe not so much toothpaste.
Many say they don’t spend time on Google Plus because their clients aren’t there.
How many of your clients were on Twitter a year after it started?
And unless your clients were university students, they probably weren’t on Facebook either.
Google Plus isn’t a small start-up with it’s beginnings in a student dorm or SXSW hallway.
It was developed by a company that owns 2 of the biggest search engines in the world; Google and YouTube and who have very deep pockets.
A year and a half after its debut, nearly 450 million people are now signed on to Google+.
Google Plus is GOOGLE.
“Google+ is just an upgrade to Google,” says Vic Gundotra, senior Vice President Engineering for Google. “People have a hard time understanding that. I think they like to compare us with other social competitors, and they see us through that lens instead of really seeing what’s happening: Google is taking its amazing products, and by bringing them together, they just become more awesome.”
As Mike Elgan puts it, Google took its various products and turned them into features of Google+, rather than treating Google+ as a standalone social network.
Why You Need to Pay Attention to Google+
1. Social Networking
Networking on Google+ is more like Twitter than Facebook. You can stalk, uh, follow anyone you want without their permission. The advantage over Twitter is that the platform allows limitless text and integrates with rest of Google.
Tip: Find and follow people who share interests (not necessarily DNA or school colours). A good source is Google+ Shared Circles. You can also circle your Gmail contacts who will receive a notification and then can decide to circle you back or not. Regardless, you can still share content with them from G+. They’ll just receive it in their mailbox instead
Video: Find People You Know
G+ Post: How to Interact Well on Google+
2. Content Marketing
Creating valuable and sharable content improves your Google search ranking as well as your brand recognition and influence.
Because of it’s reach and palette of features, some writers have chosen to use Google+ as their blogging platform. Although I always advocate having your own piece of internet real estate, they make a good case.
Tip: Take advantage of all the content creation tools that Google+ offers including images, video and Hangouts. A major advantage of Google+ is that you can do this all on the same platform.
Blog Post:Why I blog on Google+ (And how)
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The top reason businesses stake a claim on Google+ is because of the perceived SEO benefits of being on Google property. The assumption is true – to a point.
You can’t just set up a Google+ Page then walk away expecting to rank #1 in search for your keywords.
Tip: One of the best ways to optimize your Google+ presence for SEO is to make sure your Profile Page is complete and filled with “keyword” rich texts.
In closing, I’d like to share this video just released from a Google+ friend of mine, Martin Shervington who was the first to invite me to a public Hangout and who has since helped many “newbies” get “plussed”.
What’s your biggest Google+ challenge? Please leave a comment below!