Agree or disagree?
Initially, Google+ seemed like a total dud in the social media space.
In fact one of my clients, someone I respect very much, has a daughter who works in big data analysis for a very reputable company, and she told him: “No one but Google employees use Google+”.
It’s a common misconception. Meanwhile, there are now 343 million active users on Google+ who are just beginning to understand the importance of human media in networking, service, and sales.
The fact is…, in a very short time, Google+ has rolled out more new features faster than any other social network, and if you blinked you might have missed it. It’s changed the way everything works, and the way things are going to work.
Here are 5 Reasons Why Google+ Should Be An Essential Part Of Your Marketing Strategy
1. Your Google+ Profile — Archimedes said: “Give me a fulcrum and a place to stand and I will move the world.” In the online world, where Google is still the 800-pound gorilla, your personal Google+ Profile is your place to stand, and your content is the fulcrum. It’s also where you curate and post content that positions you as an authority, connects all the sites to which you contribute, and establishes authorship.
2. Authorship — With Google’s 2013 algorithm updates, Google+ is the way for authors to rank well – and get noticed – on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Have you wondered how these smart people – like the handsome devil in the picture at the left below – get their photos to show up as “rich snippets” where other posts are just a plain old title, URL and description?
It’s not magic. It’s Google+ at work. Which results get clicked more? You guessed it! The one with the picture. Authorship is an advantage in Search results!
3. Circles – Who you follow. You should spend time building your circles. Anyone who is a client, a prospect, an influencer, or a leader in your industry, these are the people you definitely want to follow. You define your own circles. They are what you make them. Who follows you. Then there are the people who decide to follow you, based on the content you curate, and the things you have to say. The numbers do not have to be large for you to have a big impact. However there are many celebrities whose circle counts are in the millions — giving them a further reach than most radio and television stations.
4. Communities -- A Community is a group gathered around a topic. Communities have proven to be the most powerful way to realize the value of the “Social Layer”. You can start with a group you’ve already organized, and leverage all their contacts when they engage with you — especially in video hangouts.
5. Video Hangouts — Some people compare Google Hangouts to Skype. But it’s really so much more, because you can create a webcast your community can interact with real time, which is then recorded on YouTube. So you can hangout once, and use the content over and over. You can call in the experts, host a Q&A session, etc. (here are six examples from Vocus). It’s like having your own interactive talk show.
Sidenote to my client: Google Hangouts are also really a great option for calling loves ones (like a daughter who happens to be working her first job in the big city). All you need is a Google+ profile, and a computer with a camera and microphone built in. Chromebooks ($299) come with them built in. The Galaxy Phones with the Android operating system also have them. If you have an older computer and need a camera and microphone, the Logitech C270 is really all you’ll ever need.
Those are just five of the technical reasons why you should seriously consider adding Google+ to your marketing efforts.
Ultimately these new tools can give you an advantage in building relationships
If I were to compare Google+ to Facebook, I’d say that Facebook is built to connect with your oldest, bestest friends, and to reinforce old ways of thinking. Because of the way Facebook filters its timeline, you’re getting more of what you already know (and then only a portion of it) — a complete waste of time.
On the other hand, Google+ is built to challenge old ways of thinking — and is a great tool for networking, collaborating, teaching people what you do. The networking opportunities on Google+ are beyond compare.
You can be hip — or not.
You can lead the herd — or follow it.
You can hunker down and do things the same old way you’ve always done them — or try something new (and maybe learn something new and make some friends along the way).
What do you want to do?