While Google+ has seen much slower growth than other social networks, it still remains a viable business marketing tool for multiple reasons.
Many of those reasons are easy to miss and simply overlooked by most marketers, and up until recently, myself included.
I admit that I have been slow to embrace Google+. Whether it was the hype, the belief that it was the next "Facebook killer," or the fact that I was not eager to take on yet another social network, Google+ has not been easy to love.
Thank goodness for the support and encouragement (insert kick in the pants) from a great friend that truly believes in and promotes the use of Google+ for business on a daily basis. And she's not just blowing smoke.
If you have considered utilizing the power behind this social network, but wonder if Google Plus is worth your time, then listen up to why it might be the right moment to incorporate this sleeping social giant into your marketing repertoire.
Why Use Google+ in Your Business
If you are marketing your business online, you know how important social media can be to the growth of your business. You have undoubtedly heard how powerful Google's search engine is in positioning your business at the top of search engines.
Now consider a social network that combines the engagement and reach available to your business on Facebook with a social network created with search engine optimization in mind. Combine those ingredients and together you have a force to be reckoned with. You have Google+.
Yet Google+ is still regarded by many busineses as innefective. While there are pros and cons to using Google+ for business marketing purposes, there are numerous advantages to consider.
Pros of Using Google+ for your Business
- In November of 2011, Google+ unveiled their business pages, making it easier for businesses and brands to market themselves on the newest social media property.
- Creating a social media hub on Google+ boosts your search engine rankings in the Google search engine. Every time one of your potential customers hits that +1 button it helps boost your standing with Google.
- Design circles that benefit your business.This is a unique feature that allows you to segment your audience, potentially sharing content with the people who are interested in that specific information.
- The hangout feature on Google+ is a great way to interact with your clients. This feature can also be used to hold meetings with remote employees or promote a new product. Check out the cool way the L.A. Times is using Hangouts!
- It is deeply integrated with Gmail, Google Drive and YouTube making it an easy tool to begin using if you are a heavy Google user.
- Google+ is a great networking tool. While still in its infancy, Google+ is an excellent resource for B2B purposes to identify and connect with like-minded business professionals.
Now since I was honest in revealing how reluctant I have been to use Google+ within my business, I would be remiss if I didn't offer the downside to this social network.
Cons of Using Google+ for your Business
- Google+ is nowhere near as big as Facebook or Twitter, which are the two largest social media sites. This does not mean that it is not a useful site, only that there are fewer people interacting there.
- Your pages need to be managed through the Google+ interface. This can be a challenge as all other social media sites have been integrated into social media management systems such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. Each of those dashboards allow posts to be administered and distributed at the same time. Google+ is very limited in its integration into third party apps so your options will only be a handful of tools.
- Google+ will take time to learn. That time could be used on other tasks.
While it is evident that Google+, like any other social network, will take additional energy to manage, I have found it to be well worth my time. I have seen an 8% increase in traffic to my website since I began using Google+ and a trickle (albeit a slow one) of interaction on my posts.
Overall, Google+ is definitely worth a look in my opinion, if only for the boost you get in your search rankings. Only time will tell how and if the site continues to grow, but for now it is quickly becoming a social network that I truly enjoy for networking and business visibility purposes.
Remember, every social network has its' pros and cons, the question to ask is whether the benefits of Google+ outweigh the negatives. Will you use Google+ to market your business?