Word around the blogosphere is that Google+ is getting hot. I was late to jump on the Facebook bandwagon, so I decided that with the introduction of the new Google+ on May 14, I was making an account. The following is a recap of my experience with Google+, and why you need to add Google+ to your business’ social media mix.
Growing to more than 500 million total accounts and 135 million active accounts, Google+ is the second largest social network in terms of active monthly users, surpassing Twitter in January 2013. When the platform was first launched to the public on September 20, 2011, Google+ got off to a bit of a rocky start with jokes about the lack of users abundant around the internet. So why is Google+ different now? Google+ has grown tremendously since its unveiling, and is better suited now than ever to help your business grow.
If you have an email address with Gmail, you already have a Google+ account. You could even be using it without realizing it; with the new upgrades to Google, a user is signed into all Google services at once. This one-time sign in structure is causing some confusion about what Google defines as an active user, and whether this user count includes the Google account holders that unknowingly interact with Google+. For instance, I have two Gmail addresses, one for professional use, and one for personal use. I made my Google+ account through my personal Gmail account, and then signed into my professional email. Without realizing the Google+ pages link up with Gmail, I then went back to Google+ to add a photo to the personal account, and accidentally added a photo to the Google+ professional account I didn’t even know I had! Business people with more than one email address through Gmail must be careful with this feature to avoid any potential mishaps.
But back to the service itself. Why should your business use it?
Play the SEO Game
Think about this. Your business pays X amount of dollars each year to 3rd party firms to help increase your position in the Google search engine. You try everything to make it into those first ten spots. Google has made it known that by keeping an active Google+ account, your company’s search ranking will improve. The company that owns the search engine you are trying to conquer gives an easy way to help you conquer it, yet so many companies have missed this clue.
Massive companies such as McDonald’s have Google+ pages that are utter ghost towns. 20,360 people have McDonald’s in their circles, yet McDonald’s has zero posts on their page. Zero! Most companies have not yet realized the power of Google+. When the titan of search gives you a social network, you play their game and use that social network.
New Features Amp up Interaction
Want to keep an active presence but don’t have the time to sort and edit pictures? Google+ goes through your pictures and will automatically highlight the best, edit them, and string them together in useful ways, such as auto-awesome, which is an animated gif of pictures shot in succession, or a compilation of the best picture of each person in a group shot to make the best overall image. When I added pictures from a trip to New York City, my pictures automatically went through auto enhance and went from typical vacation pictures to artistic memories. My whole family looked better than ever, no angry email complaints about a shiny forehead in this one or blinking in that one; Google+ took care of all of that for me with zero effort on my part. Google+ will even automatically back up 15 GB of full size photos. Google+ is aiming to make photo sharing as easy as possible; for busy companies, the time Google saves you can add up significantly.
Another huge feature that sets Google+ apart is its use of circles. A user can classify different accounts into circles such as family, friends, and work. In my experimentation, I was able to segment my posts to my friends from college, and family members separately and did not have to worry about my grandma embarrassingly commenting on a picture meant for my college friends to see. For business use, a company can decide which group of people they want to see a specific post. Need to send a post to just employees, distributors, customers, or fans? Google+ makes this possible through circles.
Get the Competitive Edge
Although Google+ is experiencing incredible growth, the road to Facebook like growth is still far away. There is however more users than ever spending more time than ever on Google+, and more businesses are shifting over to cater to the user needs. Imagine you start filling your Google+ page with solid content today. When all of your competitors catch on to the power of Google+ down the line, you will have already built a strong online presence, with a strong base of followers who look forward to interacting with you; while your competitors will be struggling trying to figure out how to use the site.
Google+ is a great place to start, but is not by any means the only way a business should be attempting to improve their SEO results. InSegment specializes in SEO optimization and we can help your business to improve. Visit our page today to see how inSegment can help your company with SEO.