When Google announced that they would be releasing a new social media platform, heads turned. Yes, the same Google that completely missed the mark with Google Buzz not too long ago. Even so, people were intrigued and the hype surrounding the release was contagious. Then the invites went out. People quickly signed up while others awaited their own invites, circles were made, and statuses were updated.
Although Google+ didn’t stop us from logging into Facebook and Twitter daily, it did bring in 400 million registered users – 100 million of which login at least once a month to check on their account. When Google recently nixed the invite only approach and opened the platform for anyone with a Gmail account, the potential for the platform’s growth meant that it was a great time for businesses to incorporate Google+ into marketing plans.
However, there are a few things about Google+ that all businesses must understand before diving in. The first, and most important, is that Google+ is not Twitter or Facebook, nor does it have the same functionalities, so it cannot be approached in the same manner. People interact and communicate in a way that is unique only to Google+. It’s also important to acknowledge that because Google+ is a Google product, posts and accounts will appear high in Google search results – this is beneficial to a business as it can help improve the SEO of a company’s website. These reasons alone make Google+ essential for a business.
Remember that content is key in today’s social media marketing world so make sure the content you share is representative of your brand and industry. Google+ posts with images or videos do especially well so be sure to include rich media content in your strategy. For example, take a look at CNN and Nordstom’s Google+ Pages. Both post images with little text. These types of posts are shared more and +1’d more often than posts containing just text.
Another important thing to note is that Google differentiates business and personal Google+ accounts by naming them Google+ Pages (business) and Google+ Profiles (personal). Multiple people can contribute to your Google+ Page from their Google+ Profile as long as they are given admin access. Allowing different team members to manage your page can help maintain an active presence and refreshing content which in turn helps steadily grow your Google+ following.