By Hannah Flaherty
CYBERSPACE – Google+ is now the fourth-largest social network on the web and the second-largest social network in terms of active users, placing Google+ just ahead of Twitter. And yet, Google+ arguably still hasn’t gained the credit it deserves, despite being a marketer’s friend in a way that Facebook is not.
Google+ is fully integrated with a number of other Google services. From consumer offerings like Gmail and Chrome to AdWords and analytics, the platform offers both easy accessibility and evidence that a solid Google+ campaign can have a profound influence on search rankings.
Here are five reasons your brand should incorporate Google+ into its marketing campaigns.
1. While brands fail on social networks elsewhere, they thrive on Google+.
Google+ may have fewer total users than Facebook or Twitter, but its user base is far more active and engaged with the site. A social sharing report from BrightEdge indicated consumer adoption of Google+ increased by 1,400 percent in January alone. What’s more, the report also highlighted that brands that are less popular on other social networks actually rank in the top 10 for consumer engagement on Google+.
If your social media campaign has failed to take off elsewhere and you’re not yet utilizing Google+, perhaps it’s time to give this some serious consideration. With sparse brand population, Google+ has the potential to give you an edge over your competitors.
2. More targeted advertising.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to get Facebook content seen unless you pay for exposure, and less and less information is available from the network about how to best optimize posts. This, coupled with limited targeting options for sponsored posts, means Google+ could be a far more profitable advertising channel. The integrated AdWords advertising model allows far better, more precisely targeted advertising options that hold much greater value.
3. Google+ is content centric, meaning greater engagement and higher click-through rates.
One of the positives of Google+ is a clean, user-friendly design that allows it to place a greater focus on the content itself. Think of Google+ as the middle ground between Facebook and Twitter: The platform allows for greater visibility than Facebook, yet still champions visual content. It also utilizes hash tags to increase engagement, and as there are no limitations on characters, you can use as many as you like. With the network’s more closely involved user base, higher engagement leads to much higher click-through rates, making Google+ a great addition to your content marketing strategy.
4. You can boost your search rankings by being active and authoritative on Google+.
If you post good, high quality content, the rest will follow. Google+ operates on different measurement metrics than Facebook or Twitter, instead following Google’s PageRank system. Posts about your industry or back-links to your own original content will see them indexed by Google.
5. Google+ offers greater privacy options — great for businesses, great for consumers.
In addition to more targeted advertising, Google+ Circles allow users to create tailored communities. These can be publically visible, or you can create private circles that share resources with affiliates, partners or those within your organization. The important thing to remember is that everything is customizable.
Google+ Circles also can be a great way to support product launches, especially the with the creation of exclusive Circles. Similarly, Hangouts, which are unique to Google+, also can be a great way to breed exclusivity. why not host a live chat with either an expert in your field (if you have a business-to-business product) or a model or personality (for consumer-facing brands)? Not only would this create a more natural, human approach to interaction, but also if linked to YouTube the video content will be indexed by Google.
Marketers need to exploit all available channels, especially those that are seeing rapid consumer growth. Google+ is one of the most rapidly growing channels. If you’re not already using it, perhaps it’s time you tested the waters.
Hannah Flaherty is B2B public relations and marketing assistant at WhiteLabelDating.com, where she supports PR and communications activities.
Launched in 2003, award-winning WhiteLabelDating provides the software, membership database, customer care, infrastructure and “out-of-the-box” dating solution for more than 10,000 dating sites worldwide. Webmasters, affiliates and publishers provide the brand, design and marketing, and WhiteLabelDating takes care of the rest.