3 Reasons Google Plus Can’t Be Ignored

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.

GooglePlus

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.

I say…”yet”.

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+.

Unlike its precursors, Buzz or Wave, Google Plus is not a social platform.

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

PDF: Getting Started with Google+ for Business

G+ Post: How to Interact Well on Google+

Google Plus

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.

Video: Formatting your posts with bold, italic and strikeout text

Blog Post:Why I blog on Google+ (And how)

G+ Post: How to Participate in Hangouts and Hangouts On Air

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.

Google has made it relatively easy though for you to optimize your chances of doing just that with G+ badges for your website and AuthorRank (rel=author) to improve.

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.

Video: How to Create a Google Plus Business Page in Under 3 Minutes

Blog post: 10 Dead Simple Tips to Take Advantage of Google+ for SEO

G+ post: Why Is There a Search Boost for Businesses on G+?

Google Plus

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”.

Everything you need to know about Google Plus but were afraid to ask!

What’s your biggest Google+ challenge? Please leave a comment below!

Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus specialist and Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts. Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus on his blog: rayhiltz.com. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and freelancers. Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.
Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz

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21 Comments on "3 Reasons Google Plus Can’t Be Ignored"


Guest
Manny Montala
2 years 2 months ago

I've been asking this question since Google + was launched "Do we really need another social media platform?" and you've given the best answer for that. Thanks Ray for your informative post!

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Daniel Hebert
2 years 3 months ago

You know, after watching the performance of your post Ray, you've totally convinced me of the POWER of Google+ – especially for a resource based website like ours. Thanks for the insights, and hoping to learn more from you in future posts! :)

Guest
Ray Hiltz
2 years 3 months ago

Thanks, Daniel. Appreciate that and always happy to share what I can. As I mentioned in an above reply, I don't work for Google and have no invested interest other than as an application, I find a lot of potential there that people miss out on because they're fixated on comparing to FaceBook and other social media platforms.

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Bill DeRosa
2 years 3 months ago

As a social marketer with hundreds of clients and on G+ pretty much since day 1, my opinion: it's lame.
Until there is any kind of consumerism it will remain lame. I do not know of really anyone who has actually utilized G+ to attain a new client or strategic partnership. G+ fits somewhere between LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter…and that isn't always good.
With time of the essence, and people already so vested in the other sites, G+ is an afterthought. It could change in time, but as of now, it is rarely a part of any social media marketing strategy.
As well, when I speak at universities or colleges, or work with the 20 somethings etc…I try to ask what sites very one is by raise of hands etc. Out of 100 students, typically 2 or 3 are on G+. This does not bode well for future engagement.

Guest
Ray Hiltz
2 years 3 months ago

Can't say I share your experience, Bill but your response isn't unusual.
It's important to work where your clients are and if they're not on G+ then it doesn't make any sense to be there.
Appreciate your feedback, thanks.

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Bill DeRosa
2 years 3 months ago

It's all about ROI Ray :-)

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Ti Roberts
2 years 3 months ago

I realize that it's important to have a strong and prominent presence in social media on various social networks. I actually drive most of my traffic to my blog through social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook). I do have a Google+ profile, but I must admit, I don't use it as much as I probably should.

I agree that there may be some potential to get more exposure and traffic through Google+ and I plan to explore this sometime in the future, but I don't think I'll be doing so soon. The current social platforms that I use are working rather well for me for the time being.

Thanks for sharing this post with us on BizSugar. I appreciate it.

Ti

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D. Dixon
2 years 3 months ago

Good article but I'm not buying it. I do use G+ every once in a while because I don't see the benefits of it like I do with Twitter/FB. I get that it's Google and Google is Oz but one thing I do not see is "Post to Google+" on my social media software which I use religiously for myself and my clients. I was just chatting with another SM pro and he raised a good point about seeing true ranking results when you log out of Google altogether. Like I said, I'm not a huge fan. I'm there every so often but I choose to focus on what has been shown to work for me and mine.
Thanks!

Guest
Ray Hiltz
2 years 3 months ago

Appreciate your feedback, D. And yes, everyone is waiting for the release of the API. It will will bring a huge wave of people on board because we social media types love to automate posts – which, I think is why Google is dragging their feet on it.
I'm a bit ambivalent. While it would make life so much easier to post on third party sites, I don't like that G+ isn't a string of shared links like we see on Twitter.
Thanks again.