May 2, 2014
Since Google+ launched a few years ago the overall general consensus was that Google+ was not to be taken seriously when compared to the heavyweights of social marketing like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Basically, Google+ was treated, and is still treated, as a ghost town in the eyes of many big and small businesses.
Over time though it has become clearer why businesses, no matter how big or small, should start taking Google+ seriously. There are now over a billion Google accounts that are enabled for Google+ and of these accounts more that 360 million are active Google+ users. The +1 button is now clicked on average 5 billion times each day.
When compared to Facebook which has 1.2 billion monthly active users these stats are not that impressive, but Google+ is still the new guy in town and these numbers are far from ghost town figures.
What is important for business owners to realize is that these numbers are growing 30% annually and that means as the momentum builds for this social network, the time to start building a solid foundation on Google+ is now.
If you drag your feet too long, you may find that your competitors have already laid a solid foundation of their own and have built a strong social presence that will be very difficult for your business to overcome.
Right now you have a golden opportunity to create a solid social presence for your business on this growing social network that all signs show is going to be the social network powerhouse of the future.
Let’s take a look as to why businesses are now starting to take Google+ so seriously.
1. The Google+ Business Pages
Not only can you get a personal Google+ page, you can also create a business page as well that you can use to attract followers. This alone has 3 distinct advantages:
- SEO: The page rank for your business page will grow as you attract more followers that are actively engaging with your business or brand and this in turn impacts the ranking of your main business website and increases your overall online visibility.
- AdWords Ads: Once you attract 100 followers to your business page you will start receiving social proof endorsements automatically on your AdWords ads. This in turn means more click throughs on your ads than can lead to lower ad costs for you.
- Free Advertising: When you create a business page on Google+ this gives you a high visible ad so to speak in Google’s search results. It shows information related to your business page as well as social proof data like the number of followers you have.
I know I mentioned SEO earlier, but SEO deserves more attention because SEO is not restricted just to the business pages of Google+. Your activities on the network will impact your Google search engine visibility as well.
For example, your activities are now one of the factors determining how your personalized results are created. If people follow your business page on Google+, the odds are increased significantly that they will see the content that you have created or have given a +1.
Content creation falls under Google Authorship and we will cover this later in the article.
The number of followers you attract and your search engine visibility work hand in hand and affect the amount of traffic that Google will send your way.
Many businesses have not grasped this powerful aspect of Google+ but it’s just a matter of time before they do.
The businesses that are able to understand the power of Google+ sooner rather that later will have a huge advantage over their competitors.
3. Traffic, Traffic, Traffic
There are two ways to grow your traffic and those are directly and indirectly.
Direct traffic is about sharing your content through Google+ which results in traffic generated to your website from your followers and the traffic that is generated from your followers resharing your content with their followers and so forth.
Indirect traffic is gained from direct traffic but also from you becoming more visible in the search engines. As your content becomes more poplulated on Google, you in turn gain more traffic to your websites and social networks as more and more people see your content.
4. Google Authorship
The power of Google+ really appears when it comes to Google Authorship. Your Google+ profile provides you with an online identity that can be associated with all the content that you provide.
What happens is your profile picture is displayed next to your content in the search engine results and when your content appears with your profile picture it can increase your click through rate.
Another thing Google Authorship does is raise your online presence and helps attract more people to follow you on Google+.
A profile picture next to your content reinforces your authority and influence for those that are following you. It can also persuade someone to start following you that wasn’t already.
5. Targeted Communication
Communicating through email has become decreasingly effective with social marketing. More and more people are wishing to communicate through social channels and for businesses this is vital.
This allows businesses to be more personable and stay on top of negative feedback to increase customer satisfaction and show that they really care about their customers.
When you are able to improve your business presence, you can build a stronger relationship with your customers, followers and prospects.
This can lead to brand loyalty and a raving fan base for your products which no amount of money can buy.
With Google+ you are able to communicate with your followers in a very targeted manner through the use of circles.
You can separate your followers into circles – one circle for existing customers, another for prospects, still another for business partnerships, and so forth.
You can create as many different circles as you choose and post to each circle with different content that is appropriate for that particular circle.
Another tool to utilize on Google+ is Hangouts. Hangouts allow you to chat live or have video chat sessions with other Google+ users.
Many businesses are already taking full advantage of this powerful business building tool with phenomenal results. They are building strong relationships and brand loyalty and also using it to communicate with long distance co-workers.
Let me leave you with this powerful example.
Imagine you see two ads for an item that you wish to have. One ad shows you social proof by having over 20,000 followers and the other has no social proof or, if they do, it’s a far lesser number of followers.
Be honest with yourself. Which one are you more likely to go with? Which one are you likely to trust more? Which one seems to have more credibility? Which one are you more than likely to click on?
Now one more question… which position as a business owner would you prefer to be in?
I think you are starting to see the advantages that Google+ can give you and how important it is not to be left behind. Those individuals and business owners that make Google+ a central part of their social marketing strategy will be the winners in the long run.
As your followers grow so will your online influence and visibility… as stated earlier they both work hand in hand.
Delton Doucet is a husband, father, grandfather and Social Media Manager for G+ Accounts for Monopolize Social Media... publisher of the DeltonDoucet.com blog, a Platinum Expert Author at EzineArticles.com and in the top 1% of Views on Google+. He is partnered with Justin Matthew of MonopolizeSocialMedia.com, a pioneer in the social media marketing industry with a proven track record, providing a service that can not be matched by any other source. And, it all started with the idea of not only penetrating social networks but dominating them.