December 18, 2014
Most businesses use social media to interact with customers, with Facebook and Twitter being by the far the most popular platforms. However Google+ is an underdog that has an ever-growing population of users that are more engaged, spending more time on the site and are visiting more pages with a lower bounce rate. With the idea that referrals on Google+ are worth almost five times as much than Facebook, we explore some British brands that are showing how to make the most of the platform.
A picture’s worth 1,000 (or 300) shares…
Photos and other imagery work well on Google+. Users typically post more photos than they would on other platforms and, therefore, interact more when a brand does the same.
One brand that should be used as an example of this is British travel brand Destinology. Destinology is a small company by travel industry standards. It caters to a niche market of customers who can afford luxury tailor-made holidays. How then, has it managed to acquire an impressive 1.4 million Google+ followers?
The feed shows high-quality images of exotic destinations that Destinology offers trips to. These images regularly get more than 300 +1s and comment engagement. Not everyone who follows Destinology on Google+ will buy a luxury holiday but the exposure is invaluable. Destinology has kept a clear and consistent brand message and improved its brand awareness.
Image courtesy of Brian Gunderson
A video may be worth more…
Videos and gifs are the bread and butter of social media. With Google’s acquisition of YouTube and the ability to post gifs directly to the feed, this type of content is ideal for Google+. Cadbury, the confectionary brand, has tailored its posts to the platform. Its Friday #freethejoy posts are a clever call to action, getting users to engage on Friday afternoons by making them laugh with anything from a dancing monkey to funny road signs.
Google Hangouts are often used by brands to connect with fans and consumers. It creates a space for brands and users to communicate directly, allowing customers to give feedback and brands to be human and personable. There are examples of innovation with this, too. Penguin Books recently used Hangout to create an interactive tool for children and parents. The ‘Storytime Hangout’ allows users to take part in interactive stories with their children online, perfect for parents away on business. By creating this feature the brand creates a space where users can interact with both the brand and each other in a fun and creative way.
Smaller businesses may feel daunted by these examples, but there are aspects of big brands’ strategies that any can use. Businesses must know their audience and create an online environment that is consistent with that. Google+ is perhaps one platform that allows brands more than the others to stamp their personality on it, and share stimulating content that their audience wants to see.
Daniel Yeo is a content and online PR manager for an award-winning U.K. digital marketing agency. He regularly blogs about PR, social media, content and SEO.