Social Media: Why you need to reconsider Google+

Social Media: Why you need to reconsider Google+

Today I want to talk to you about the enigmatic Google+, in the 6th and final part of my social media series! 

I say "enigmatic" because let’s face it, most people are still wondering what Google+ is about and when it’s going to snap out of its reverie and start making the most of that ginormous potential.

Because hello, Google is only the biggest internet platform in the history of ever. With a 65% market share, anything that company produces is worth a second look.

What is Google+ about for businesses?

I’ve been with Google+ for about 5 years but it’s on the periphery of my marketing game plan. My theory is to hang on because you never know when Google+ is going to kick back into gear and I’d like to have a foot in the door when it does.

Many people say that Google+ is dead in the water. Granted, it’s a bit difficult to pinpoint Google+’s niche because it’s hard to say what it does well. None of which is very encouraging to small biz owners like you and me when you’re trying to discover where best to sink your marketing time and money!

But Google+ is alive and well for about 375 million people - the number of active monthly users. That's nothing to sneeze at. 

Why Google+ should be part of your marketing strategy

Here's 6 awesome reasons why your business should be working it on Google+...

  • It’s great for your website’s SEO. Naturally, there’s got to be some advantages to being part of Google (the search engine) and that’s that Google Search and Google+ are linked.

Moreover, Google Search prioritises Google+ posts, so if you post regularly on Google+, it’s likely to show up on Google searches far more quickly and regularly than on other social media platforms.

  • The bigger a Google+ following you build, the more opportunities you have for showing up in a Google search. That's pretty awesome. 

  • Your Google+ profile appears on Gmail accounts. So, if you’re emailing someone with a Gmail account and they’re looking at their online desktop site, they can see your photo and details pop up to the right of your email, which is great exposure right then and there.

And they can click on that link and go directly to your profile. And contact you. Google apps is very integrated like that which is great.

  •  Google+ Communities are very active with 1.2 million joins every day! By joining such engaged and active groups of people, you’ve got a good chance of putting your business and brand in front of a lot of interested and potential clients.

  • It’s got great search potential for small businesses because it’s still a growing platform. For eg, I typed “Squarespace web designer” into Google+ and it turned up 4 results (only!) and one of them was mine! That’s a pretty good search result!

  • Google+ members are more interested in learning, skill development and connecting with like-minded and interesting individuals. So as a social platform it is much more skewed towards business interests than, say Facebook. 

I said before that I haven’t invested big time into Google+ but I’m still keeping them in my back pocket.

How I currently use Google+

  • I’ve filled out my profile completely;
  • I’ve compared my profile to influencers in my niche and others who inspire me;
  • I post regularly (3 times a day via my Buffer schedule);
  • I post my own articles, videos and blog posts on a regular basis;
  • I share other people’s posts and tag them; and
  • I’ve linked Google+ to my website and blog posts (via the yellow share bar on the left of my blog page).

What I could be doing to improve my Google+ engagement

  • Engage on a more regular basis with people I’m following via comments and 1’s (likes);
  • Regularly add new people to my Circles (follower lists); and
  • Add the Google+ 1’s (like) button to my blog posts (developer platform).

This year, I want to devote more time to Google+ because it really is worth the effort, for the extra SEO juice alone. And you should too!

About the author: Lilani Goonesena is an Australian freelance writer, Squarespace web designer and blogger currently based in Vientiane, Laos. She loves helping freelancers and small businesses get online with web design and contentblogging and her awesome weekly newsletter on digital marketing, social media, blogging, web design and "all that online stuff". She also writes food and travel articles for businesses and magazines, and blogs at the delectable Eat Drink Laos.