5 Reasons Why Your Business Should be using Google Plus for Marketing
I’ll admit- I was a late adopter when it came to Google Plus. It took me a while to recognize the charms of the social network, and what benefits it offered businesses. What I realized is that Google was not creating an alternative to Facebook, but a better option for a certain niche of business owners; the content creators. Google Plus offers a tremendous number of advantages to small businesses who regularly practice content marketing tactics such as producing blog posts, creating videos, infographics and other shareable entities. While Facebook was (and still is) THE social network, Google Plus has found its niche in the increasingly fragmenting world of social media marketing. And as we know, the future of search engine optimization and digital marketing as whole will depend almost entirely on that businesses’ ability to produce interesting, relatable and shareable content that appeals to their audience.
So what exactly is it that makes Google Plus so advantageous to content creators? Here are 5 reasons why your business should be using Google Plus for Marketing:
Your content can’t be ranked by search engines (and found by prospective clients) unless it is first indexed. Unlike other social networks, Google Plus has the considerable power of Google backing it up, and links you post to the social network are crawled almost instantly. This makes sense, seeing as how when you post to plus.google.com you’re basically posting content directly to Google.com. Google has instituted this practice as a way to compete with Twitter’s real-time search ability, and businesses can take advantage by sharing content that is immediately crawled.
A feature that is totally unique to Google Plus, the Hangout allows you to have video chats with up to ten audience members at a time. But this feature is much more than a Skype knock-off. Hangouts allow you to share photos and documents, can be private or publicly viewable, and can be simultaneously recorded and added to your company’s YouTube channel. With that in mind, Hangout’s can be used for product demonstrations, webinars, customer service or even press conferences. Considering its capabilities, the only limit of Hangout’s is the marketers imagination.
Plus and Local are Now One
Back in 2013, Google put in a considerable effort to integrate Plus with several of its other products, most notably Google Places. In case you weren’t aware, Google Places was the big G’s version of Yelp or Merchant Circle, and it allowed users to upload their local businesse’s info and create an online profile. Places has been transformed in to Google Plus Local- and business owners are able to create dynamic pages that can be updated regularly, and that will appear alongside your businesse’s name in Google searches(it should also be noted that customer reviews will appear there as well, so be sure to encourage positive reviews!)
In an effort to battle spam and to give content creators a more prominent voice, Google recently introduced Authorship. You may have noticed that in the search engine results pages, some results also contained a thumbnail of the author, as well as their name. This is Authorship in action. Authorship is great because it makes your content more easily read by search engines (through the use of rich snippets); and it could increase your click through rate, thus improving your website’s ranking.
The +1 Button
Facebook has the “Like” button. Google has the +1. The big difference is that Google’s button exists outside of the social network, and some SEO experts even suspect that there is a correlation between it and improved search engine rankings (Although Google has routinely denied this). The +1 button also appears in your Google Adwords campaign ads and your organic search results. And while it is not a ranking factor, much like authorship, it could improve CTR, leading to more social shares and an increased SERP ranking.
More than anything else, what Google Plus proves is that social media marketing is headed away from a world that is dominated by 1 or 2 major networks, and instead one that is scattered across dozens of networks which appeal to very different audiences and businesses. It’s not a question of Facebook vs. Google Plus, but of what type of business you are and how you plan to market your business online. For those looking to build brand awareness through insightful content, Google Plus is the way to go!