Is it Time to Take Another Look at Google+?

Though underutilized and often overlooked, Google+ offers a robust suite of applications and tools that businesses can leverage to spark market dialog.

December 2, 2015 // Ashish Namjoshi

google+LinkedIn has owned the spotlight for business-oriented social media for a long time. Twitter can be leveraged as a continuing news feed and to engage with thought leaders. Facebook is a great platform to showcase a company’s culture, engage existing customers and advertise products. But LinkedIn is considered the crème de la crème of professional networking, helping professionals craft meaningful business relationships and share content that resonates with prospects. Does anyone even use Google+?

Yes, Google+ is still a relevant platform, and it may become a lot more relevant as frustration grows with LinkedIn noise and increasing spam.

With so many businesses flocking to social media—and LinkedIn developing marketing opportunities to monetize that traffic—it’s becoming a lot more difficult to be heard above the noise in LinkedIn groups or on LinkedIn Pulse. LinkedIn also has a long track record of making major changes to popular features without warning, often rendering marketing activities tuned to their platform useless—such as recent sweeping changes to LinkedIn Groups.

Yes, Google+ is still a relevant platform, and it may become a lot more relevant as frustration grows with LinkedIn noise and increasing spam.

At SocialRep, we’ve seen posts on LinkedIn Pulse that garnered thousands of views less than a year ago are now lucky to field a hundred. Groups that used to be good forums for water-cooler talk among peers have become echo chambers of spam. Even invitations have been moving rapidly from a focus on professional networking to social cold calling. When the quality of engagement suffers, it’s time to take a look around at options, and it turns out Google+ is worth another look.

Google+

Though underutilized and often overlooked, Google+ offers a robust suite of applications and tools that businesses can leverage to spark market dialog and drive engagement, featuring solid social networking combined with easy-to-use content creation tools. Integration with YouTube, AdWords, Docs and Analytics, Google+ offers a lot of creative ways to drive inbound traffic and build more meaningful relationships with prospective partners and customers.? ? Sure, there are some clunky aspects regarding Google+ usability, but once you’re familiarized with the features the power outweighs the quirks.

Google+

One of biggest advantages of Google+ is that any content that you create on Google+ automatically gets picked up and indexed by Google, and any video you create—like hangouts with partners or customers to talk shop—get automatically posted to YouTube.

Given Google’s dominance in the world of search and SEO, it makes perfect sense to create content that would appear on one of these platforms. Google+ allows businesses to link these multiple apps and tools with a single Gmail account, which is the same account linked to your G+ account, thereby making information sharing and content management across applications quick and easy.

Beyond just SEO

Like LinkedIn Groups, communities on Google+ offer an opportunity for professionals to join groups that interest them, where they can initiate and participate in discussions with peers, partners and potential customers.

Google+’s ‘Hangouts on Air’ is a powerful Google+ feature that brings video to social marketing. Hangouts are a great tool to conduct web events, interviews and interactions with thought leaders. Each ‘Hangout on Air’, once completed, automatically gets uploaded to the brand’s YouTube channel, presenting a unique opportunity for cross-channel promotion.

? Google+’s ‘Hangouts on Air’ is a powerful Google+ feature that brings video to social marketing.

Adding the +1 button to your page automatically allows page visitors to share your page on the web. When users click the +1 button on your page, they automatically recommend your content in Google searches and are able to share it with their circles. According to a recent study by HubSpot, sites that use the +1 button get 3.5x times more visits on their Google+ pages.

These features are just the tip of the iceberg. But rather than continue listing them, I encourage you to explore Google+ directly as an alternative way to drive Social Media engagement. If you want a place to start, I’d recommend playing around with Google Hangouts on Air. Video is a great way to connect, a great way to create compelling content, and G+ makes it easy. Take a look at one of our recent G+ industry interviews below.

 

Time to revisit and rethink your Google+ strategy

While LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have their uses, they also have certain limitations. If you are a business that’s looking for a potent mix of SEO, Social Media and Analytics, Google+ might just be the last piece of the puzzle you need to fit in.

Perhaps it’s time to give the +1 a second look?


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