Dear Marketers: Ignore Google+ At Your Own Risk

AlexandraRose
Alexandra Jacopetti Senior Account Manager, Rocket Post

Posted on October 22nd 2013

Dear Marketers: Ignore Google+ At Your Own Risk

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Google+

Uninformed marketing professionals and business owners have long considered Google+ to be the ugly stepchild of social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter, largely dismissing the growing platform as a waste of time. Even though Google+ is a relatively new player in the social media game, it has a constantly evolving platform combined with unique features and important SEO capabilities that must not be overlooked.  In fact, if your business has 100 followers with active engagement, your Google search engine results position can improve by 14 spots.

Here are eight reasons that marketers should incorporate Google+ into their clients’ social media efforts:

  1. Instant Indexing and SEO. Much like Facebook, Google+ has already introduced hashtags that allow users to conduct custom searches via specific keywords. Unlike Facebook, Google+ has the power of the world’s largest search engine behind it. Google Search users in the United States and Canada are now able to search hashtags, which pop up as a list of related Google+ posts on the right side of the page. The SEO importance of this feature is undeniable – companies that incorporate hashtags into Google+ posts that match user keyword search results can experience a significant upswing in link clicks and website traffic.
  2. Hangout with Your Audience. Google+ Hangouts is a free app that allows users to video chat with up to ten people at once. Hangouts can be private, only visible to the people invited, or on air, which are publicly viewable and simultaneously recorded to your YouTube channel. Other Google+ Hangouts features include photo and document sharing, emoji, and video effects. Businesses can broaden their reach by incorporating Hangouts into their marketing plan; for example, LA-based digital publishing platform BakeSpace has amassed 360,000 people in its Google+ circles after hosting 40 hangouts, compared to its 14,000 Facebook “likes.”
  3. It’s Growing. Step aside, Twitter. A recent report from Internet analytics firm GlobalWebIndex shows that the number of active Google+ users is close to 360 million, second only to Facebook and up from 259 million in June 2012. That’s a hefty number of potential customers that has been left untapped.
  4. Content Authorship. Businesses and individuals who have a Google+ profile are able to claim authorship over their Internet content, and it’s going to play a big role in future content marketing strategies. Authorship allows writers to link the content they create to their Google+ profile, and also provides internet users with the opportunity to find additional content from the same author. Content linked via Google+ Authorship establishes credibility, increases content reach, and improves search engine rankings – all resulting in greater exposure.
  5. Build a Target Audience. Having a hard time getting your message heard by the right people? That’s where Google+ Circles excel. Circles are a way to segment other users into targeted groups based on their relationship to you. Businesses can use this to their advantage by breaking their connections down by interest group, location, or audience demographics (i.e., customers, employees, VIPs). Messages can be tailored specifically for each group and you can choose to receive updates from members of your circles, which can help you better understand your audience and increase engagement.
  6. Say What You Need to Say. Let’s face it – it’s hard to communicate effectively in 140 characters or less. Not everyone is a wordsmith who can fling out witticisms on the spot that capture attention and deliver the perfect message every time. Google+ posts have no character limit, which allows businesses to engage their audience in normal and personal conversations that are uninhibited by arbitrary restraints. Try responding appropriately to a customer complaint in less than two sentences.
  7. Google+ Caters to the Business Community. Thus far, your social media strategies have largely focused on building an audience via Facebook (too many 13-year-olds posting self photos) and Twitter (overrun by outspoken celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber), but you’re just not capturing the right market. Google+ has branded itself as THE social network community for making connections and collaborations within the professional community, particularly in the business and technology spheres. Whether you’re a B2B company or a consumer-oriented brand, Google+ is the place to reach a professional audience that tends to shy away from Facebook and Twitter.
  8. Fuel for YouTube. Google has unveiled that all YouTube comments will be fueled by Google+. A company won’t be able to promote much longer without the platform if they are heavily embedded in their YouTube community.

Google+ has experienced unprecedented growth since its launch. Marketing professionals and business owners who ignore its potential and leave its wealth of resources untapped will undoubtedly find themselves falling behind in the ever-changing landscape of social media.

Do you have any Google+ tips?

AlexandraRose

Alexandra Jacopetti

Senior Account Manager, Rocket Post

Lady of . Marketing nut. Hotel guru. Boss Tycoon. Ocean wave seeker. Connoisseur of travel. Coffee addict. Cal Poly SLO alum. Niner Faithful.

Senior Account Manager at Rocket Post | Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alum | Marketing Nut and Social Media Junkie | Third Wave coffee shop and gummy orange slices addict | 
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/author/alexandra-jacopetti#4Ta4ltZyOISUHrOS.99
Senior Account Manager at Rocket Post | Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alum | Marketing Nut and Social Media Junkie | Third Wave coffee shop and gummy orange slices addict | 
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/author/alexandra-jacopetti#4Ta4ltZyOISUHrOS.99
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Comments

MichellesPiano
Posted on October 22nd 2013 at 5:57PM

I like the looks of Google+ and you make many great points about being a great service in the long run.  Thanks for your post.

AlexandraRose
Posted on October 23rd 2013 at 8:06PM

Thanks Bob!

jackmccw
Posted on October 22nd 2013 at 6:43PM

I just love that you can edit post once you've posted it. Nothing frustrates me more than posting a typo on Facebook. Using * and _ to enrich your post really helps with cut-through on g+ too.

AlexandraRose
Posted on October 23rd 2013 at 8:06PM

I totally agree Jack. That feature is very user friendly.

Aaron Wood
Posted on October 25th 2013 at 1:11PM

Hi Jack! You can now edit comments AND posts on Facebook. Just an FYI.

Choose the dropdown arrow in your posts and edit will be an option now.

The more you know. ;)

jackmccw
Posted on October 27th 2013 at 8:12PM

I'm still waiting for that to appear on my company pages. Maybe things take longer to roll out down here in Australia.

Jim Starr
Posted on October 22nd 2013 at 11:54PM

Google+ Hangouts has become my team's day-to-day platform for working remotely. The Share Screen tool is particularly useful, and lets us view each other's desktops OR open apps. The smartphone app is handy as well; I'll often start a video chat there while I'm walking back to my office to contine the session on the larger, stationary, and thus less vertigo-inducing screen of my computer! 

AlexandraRose
Posted on October 23rd 2013 at 8:07PM

That's great you use the feature so much. What other tools do you utilize?

Jim Starr
Posted on October 24th 2013 at 12:26AM

Drive is a great place for us to archive and share layouts and copy sheets. Naturally, as a writer, all the credibility-building functions you've mentioned above are extremely helpful. And maybe best of all, the one-minute "grammar tip" videos I post weekly on Youtube populate automatically on Google+ and provides me one more place to comment, in addition to what I'm already writing on my blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and of course Youtube itself.

mattc1323
Posted on October 23rd 2013 at 7:38AM

Great article. I have had this battle with my peers for about 2 years now. It is not smart to think that something social from Google won't have an enormous impact on search results. Not to mention, Hangouts have helped take conferences and meetings social!

Thanks again!

AlexandraRose
Posted on October 23rd 2013 at 8:08PM

I agree Matt. Glad you do as well!

Nissi Infotech
Posted on October 23rd 2013 at 8:30AM

Your information about the G+ is useful. I have one doubt; website got more like in face book than G+ means, google search consider that or not?

Dave Elliott
Posted on October 23rd 2013 at 9:53AM

I'm sorry, but this contains so much in accurate information and even the things that do track are backed up with little-to-no empirical proof to be taken seriously!

 In fact, if your business has 100 followers with active engagement, your Google search engine results position can improve by 14 spots.

Ummm no. For a start i could be 8,0000 in a SERP in which case a couple of follow links/+1's or any engagement could make me rise a lot more than 14. Orrrr i could be 15th in the SERP's with wikipedia, mashable and Nike ahead of me in the SERPS you simply can't say that doing x will make you rise by y, it will vary too much.

companies that incorporate hashtags into Google+ posts that match user keyword search results can experience a significant upswing in link clicks and website traffic.

Where have you got this information from? Do you mean in the main google search engine hash tags are starting to become more popular or from within G+ itself? I'd love to see some stats on this as i can't find any. By the way, the post you did advertising this(well not this, the same article on your actual site, which will cause duplicate issues, possibly) just has the automatic hashtag of google, this is surely not best practice!

Content linked via Google+ Authorship establishes credibility, increases content reach, and improves search engine rankings – all resulting in greater exposure.

Improves search engine rankings? Really, I know a lot of people have been repeating this, but it doesn't make it so. Click through rates almost certainly, but content reach and search engine rankings, no, just no.

Google+ posts have no character limit

It does!(unless something has changed since March 2013) It's a massive 100,00 characters so you get a lot, but, you couldn't transcribe an entire dissertation or thesis on there!

Google+ has branded itself as THE social network community for making connections and collaborations within the professional community

LinkedIn?

As a final aside i can't find the author of this piece on Google +(although her company is) so rather wonder how much time the author spends on the platform.

 

AlexandraRose
Posted on October 24th 2013 at 1:04PM

Thanks for your input Dave!


As far as your comments, you're taking the points out of context. For example:

1) In fact, if your business has 100 followers with active engagement, your Google search engine results position can improve by 14 spots.

Ummm no. For a start i could be 8,0000 in a SERP in which case a couple of follow links/+1's or any engagement could make me rise a lot more than 14. Orrrr i could be 15th in the SERP's with wikipedia, mashable and Nike ahead of me in the SERPS you simply can't say that doing x will make you rise by y, it will vary too much.

 

I’m not pinpointing solely Google+ as THE SEO source. Of course if you were on page 450 on a Google search, with engagement on Google+, you would rank much higher then 14 spots.  You are taking my points too much as an equation.

 

 

 

2) companies that incorporate hashtags into Google+ posts that match user keyword search results can experience a significant upswing in link clicks and website traffic.

Where have you got this information from? Do you mean in the main google search engine hash tags are starting to become more popular or from within G+ itself? I'd love to see some stats on this as i can't find any. By the way, the post you did advertising this(well not this, the same article on your actual site, which will cause duplicate issues, possibly) just has the automatic hashtag of google, this is surely not best practice!

In regards to this, you didn’t read the sentence before it. I’m talking about Google search engine results. Here is the news story: http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/25/google-starts-supporting-google-hashtags-in-search-queries/


3) Google+ posts have no character limitIt does!(unless something has changed since March 2013) It's a massive 100,00 characters so you get a lot, but, you couldn't transcribe an entire dissertation or thesis on there!

Again, you’re taking my points a little too literal. No professional marketer in their right mind would post a dissertation on there.


4) Google+ has branded itself as THE social network community for making connections and collaborations within the professional community

LinkedIn?

As a final aside i can't find the author of this piece on Google +(although her company is) so rather wonder how much time the author spends on the platform.

Just because a social platform exists, doesn’t mean I have to have a profile on there. But I actually do participate on G+; thanks for trying to point that out.


Russell Jensen
Posted on October 23rd 2013 at 11:38AM

Do you have studies to back your statements? Specifically this one: 

 "In fact, if your business has 100 followers with active engagement, your Google search engine results position can improve by 14 spots."

 

AlexandraRose
Posted on October 24th 2013 at 1:16PM

Hello Russell!  A study was done by SEO experts Tasty Placement.  Here is an infographic with their results: http://www.tastyplacement.com/infographic-testing-social-media-signals-i...

Aaron Wood
Posted on October 25th 2013 at 1:03PM

Alexandra, please update the logo in your article. Google+ switched from that one a long time ago. :)

Nothing makes me shake my head more than when someone praises G+ but then uses old, outdated material in their posts.

AlexandraRose
Posted on October 30th 2013 at 12:19PM

Thanks for the input Aaron.  This isn't the original image I uploaded; odd!

RudeeG
Posted on October 25th 2013 at 1:46PM

I have two Googe + accounts, one in my name and one in my companies name. I am using Google + to increase SEO. I get more connections through my personal Googe + than the business.  All the information in the personal is about my business.  Which account should I focus on?

AlexandraRose
Posted on October 30th 2013 at 12:22PM

Arleen,


It would depend were you want to focus your efforts; your personal page is what gives a secondary voice to your business, as well as establishes you as an authority in your sphere of business.  Perhaps you're getting more connections through your personal G+ page because the platform is more personal, when compared to the other social media platforms.  Users go on there to connect with collagues and other individuals with same interests, instead of search for the newest products and/or services. With all this said, I would maintain both accounts.  One may have more connections with the other, but having both surely doesn't hurt.

Tim Patterson
Posted on October 25th 2013 at 1:47PM

Thanks for a great article. I'm working with a marketing partner to learn how to get my target market into hangouts (along with other stuff, of course), so your information is very useful.

I would observe that Facebook, while still popular with teens, is losing ground with them. Many are moving over to Vine and hanging out on Skype. I've witnessed this with my own kids (10 and 13). I've seen information that shows Facebook is thought of among youngsters as 'for their parents' - in fact, it's the idea of knowing their parents can see and comment on their FB posts that is spurring them to move elsewhere!

AlexandraRose
Posted on October 30th 2013 at 12:24PM

Thanks for the insight Tim! I would definitely agree about the younger demographic not utilizing G+.  That demographic can be found on Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest. 

Katie Robinette
Posted on October 25th 2013 at 1:51PM

I, too (like Dave), found it rather odd that the author herself does not list a G+ icon as a way to get in touch with her...

Interesting article, but I still doubt the impact and relevance on G+. Still, the article is worth sharing with my colleague who heads up our on-line community.  

Nicky Jameson
Posted on October 26th 2013 at 4:05PM

I found this a very interesting article. I am actively engaged on Google Plus and so I am very interested to see what people say about it. Most marketers still don't understand how to use G+ and G+ itself doesn't do enough to toot its own horn. Of all my social properties (apart from my blog) G+ drives by far the most traffic to my website - far more than Facebook and with more engagement) although I am still testing out whether authorship has any tangible effect. I think G+ has miles more potential, but you have to use it in a certain way to really get the benefit from it.

The main issue I had with this post is that the author isn't on G+ themselves... the first thing I did was to go and see if they had a G+ profile button - none. And the post icon is an old G+ icon as well. That made me doubt the stats in the post.. especially where it seems to imply that G+ is where the professional networking happens... I don't think it's going to trump LinkedIn just yet. 100 followers with active engagement? You need many more than that from my experiece. It would have been good to see some solid examples (other than the links) of the points raised becasue many still doubt the point of Google Plus .

AlexandraRose
Posted on October 30th 2013 at 12:29PM

That's great you are seeing significant traffic to your website from G+.  As far as myself being on G+, I am a particpiant.