Google +, Really a Plus?

We all know the power of Google, it’s so large it’s become a part of our everyday language. Google has become a noun and a verb. According to Google Search Statistics, about 3.5 billion Google searches happen every day around the world. That’s a lot of opportunities for your business to be seen.

Despite the incredible influence Google has built in the digital age, the company’s social media platform, Google+ has struggled to capture a strong following like it’s peers Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have more users than Google+. But don’t discount the power of this, still growing, form of social media.

Peers is a terrible term to use in a marketing article about social media channels because they aren’t on the same level and were never created to deliver the content the same way. We acknowledge that all social media platforms are different and content should be positioned for each channel, but for the sake of this article we will use comparisons.

Google + has about 2.2 billion profiles, with between 4 and 6 million active users. That may not sound like much, but with Google+, quality trumps quantity when it comes to boosting your Search Engine Optimization. The argument exists on the number of Google + accounts because the profile is used to access all Google Platforms, therefor many marketing analysts debunk the number of users to “active profiles.”

So what makes Google + different? Unlike more popular forms of social media, when you share something on Google+ you directly influence your Google rankings, slowly, but surely. It’s important to keep in mind that simply “posting” to Google + won’t help your rankings unless you use the platform correctly and tag effectively. The important thing to remember when you share on Google + is to include a few key words TAG them, add photos, videos, links, etc. You have 100,000 characters to work with (again, we say this lightly because no one wants to read your 100,000 characters.) Use call to actions to entice potential readers or customers to take a closer look at what you have to say. Be creative and toggle over to Google Analytics to monitor and modify your content.

Don’t be boring. A catchy headline will encourage more users to click on your content and possibly even read it. The headline is what appears in the search results so be certain you aren’t using too many characters. Optimize your headlines with testing. To make a headline stand out even more, consider changing how it looks on other user’s feeds. Bold or underline key words will help get more eyes on your message. It’s all about attracting attention. Do not use false or misleading headline information to get people to “click.” Even a incidental misleading headline or poorly created landing page can result in social media wrath and even worse, Google hates it. Take your time when creating your headline. Remember the advice of your 3rd grade teacher “write the title last.”

I’m lonely in my circle. You may have hundreds of Facebook friends and Twitter followers but only a few dozen in your circles on Google+. That’s okay. Having the right people in your circles and +1’ing your content will increase give your posts longer life. Remember, Google + is all about quality over quantity. The other benefit we’ve found with Google+ over Facebook or Twitter is the ability to post a link publicly and send it as an email to your circles with one click. This saves time in getting your message out to readers. The ability to share links gives your post a better chance to be seen, it won’t get lost in a timeline. The ability to directly email the link allows for a longer lifetime and it will be around for as long as the receiver keeps it. Just be careful not to overdo it and potentially spam people.

Another big advantage of Google +, is that you can reach people who aren’t on Google+, but who have a Google account. Earlier we mentioned Google + profiles being created for the only purpose of using other Google platforms. If you’ve exchanged emails and made a connection, you can share your posts without needing a follow back or “like.”

Looking for feedback? You can embed Google+ comments into your blog. When someone leaves a comment, they can also share your post with their circles. If you want users to share your content on Google +, like every form of social media and content marketing, sure your content is relatable, relevant, creative and original.

One last thing to remember, as the search results show up, your Google+ profile picture appears next to your link. People are more likely to click on something with a picture. Make sure you are using a quality, correctly sized photo that’s not offensive and is easy to recognize. Don’t forget, if you +1 someone’s material, they’ll be more likely to return the favor and ta-da you are now a social sharing machine!

Check out other blog posts by Idea Creative Marketing’s contributing authors here!

2 thoughts on “Google +, Really a Plus?

  1. I believe when it comes to marketing and engagement Google plus is the place to be. Because it seems other platforms other then linked in is used for a negative aspect these days. So in terms of building community from scratch based around something other then that Google plus would be some ones alternative

    Like

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