The (Business) Case for Google+

dleitch@morevisibility.com
Danielle Leitch Executive Vice President of Client Strategy, MoreVisibility

Posted on October 7th 2012

The (Business) Case for Google+

A little more than a year after the launch of Google+, usership of Google’s “social layer” remains anemic. Brands, many of which jumped on board in the early days of Google+, have yet to enthusiastically embrace the platform. This is either because of simple platform fatigue, or – and most likely – because Google+ still looks like a ghost town.

But consider the long tail for a moment. There might not be as many users on Google+ as there are on Facebook or Twitter, but Google+ does have users – passionate, creative, enthusiastic users – who might love to follow your brand, if only you were active on their preferred channel.

Now, consider that many Google+ brand pages are mere shells – they exist, but they’re not active. These are brands you might compete with (either directly, or for attention) on other channels, but that just haven’t bought into Google+ yet.

And in that, is opportunity.

The business case for Google+, as it stands today, is not the various sharing options and ways to connect with your audience – those will always be there. The best reason to come on board right now is that your competitors are likely not active in the channel. And as long as brands stay away from Google+, the easier it is to get the attention of its users.

Like many opportunities, this one won’t last forever.

This year, Google has made several moves aimed at increasing adoption. This includes integrating Google+ into a user’s overall search experience (SPYW), converting Google Places listings into Google+ Local pages, and merging Google+ Business pages with Google+ Local pages.

Given this, brands will either come on board whole-heartedly or be left behind. The brass ring will go to the brands that do it sooner, rather than later.

dleitch@morevisibility.com

Danielle Leitch

Executive Vice President of Client Strategy, MoreVisibility

MoreVisibility is an Interactive Marketing industry leader and is part of a select group of agencies Google certified in both AdWords and Analytics. We have grown impressively over the past 11 years through a consistent flow of referral based business and are proud to be a six-time INC 500/5000 recipient. Our industry credentials are unparalleled and our commitment to client education and results tracking set us apart. MoreVisibility’s longstanding partnerships with Google, MSN and Yahoo have been instrumental in achieving highly favorable results for our clients. Our relationships with the newer Social Media channels are equally collaborative. The greatest strength of MoreVisibility is our highly skilled and tenured team. Our knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm continue to help our clients make meaningful improvements in the profitability of their online marketing efforts.
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Comments

Respectfully; you posted your article at a time when you have currently less than 40 circles, and less than 40 who have circled you. That means your Google+ is experience is woefully less than what others are experiencing with respect to the efficacy of the platform.

As someone who's company gains new business from the 400+ Million "ghosts" that reside on the platform, and do business there, I would ask you to reconsider your premise that current brands are "shells" as you put it? I can assure you that many of us have been-there and done-that since G+ became available in July of last year. 

As your circles and experience grow on the platform, I am sure you will discover a thriving home for many businesses, and Google+ has long been the best of all social media locations with respect to Branding, both corporate and personal, reputation management, and more. 

Cheers. 

Danielle that's a great piece in terms of how being active in a low-contest environment will help a brand. You mention, however a couple of facts which need further clarification: 

1. Google's social layer is far from anaemic. Google has been using the social signal from G+ to power the connections in its new semantic search and in this regard just having a presence there is invaluable to a brand both in terms of getting its context indexed and in terms of how that content is then ranked on search.

2. Brands did not jump on the bandwagon early in G+. Quite the opposite in fact. They had to wait and a number of early brand pages were deleted by Google, until the platform was open to brands. Since then many more brands have created a presence on the platform and make extensive use of it. By the very nature of its interaction criteria, unless you decide to follow these brands you will not see their content.

You are right that many brands however are hesitant still on their level of engagement, precisely because Google+ requires something different to the automatic Twitter/Facebook link sharing. Right again that the race, here, will go to the swift. Provided they know what they are doing, brands which correctly utilise the platform will find themselves hugely rewarded.