Google Plus: The Neglected Stepchild of Social Networking

Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Social Networking, Startups [ 0 Comments ]

Don't relegate Google+ to the sidelines of your social media strategy.There are many reasons to think Google Plus is the neglected stepchild of the social networking world. The perennial giants – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – have taken much the larger share of the business world’s focus. Even sites like Pinterest and Instagram have garnered far more attention of late than Google’s social media offering. However, for small-business owners  and entrepreneurs looking to expand brand awareness, it’s truly an irreplaceable resource.

Related: Wondering about online marketing? Find out more here.

A Plethora of Resources

Like many other marketing channels, Google Plus allows you to distribute exclusive content and deals through the social networking site. At the same time, just think about all of the other Google tools that are linked to the social platform. Many small and midsize businesses are driven by local traffic, and Google Maps is an excellent source for customers to research and seek out businesses in their area. When your page is linked with Google Maps, there’s a convenient connection between any content your business produces on their social page and the physical location. When customers want to stop by your brick-and-mortar spot, they should have no problem using this Google tool in union with Google Plus.

Related: The Top 3 Digital Marketing Trends of 2013

Keep in Touch With Millions of Users

If consumers have any questions or concerns, they can directly address the company through their Google Plus pages. As a result, you can keep an eye out and an ear open for anything your customers – or prospective ones – have on their minds.  According to Business 2 Community, 97 percent of consumers look for local businesses online, and it’s hard to argue against the number of people that use Google to search for information – comScore research found there were more than 190,000,000 unique visitors to Google from home, work and universities on desktops in September alone. That doesn’t account for mobile device users and laptops, so the reach of businesses engaged with Google Plus is likely even more extensive. At the same time, the number of people using the social networking site jumped 58 percent, according to USA Today. This number reflects, as of the end of October 2013, 300 million active users per month.

Is Anyone Listening?

But there are many examples of what companies shouldn’t do to make use of their Google Plus pages, beginning with Domino’s Pizza. If you post content on the Internet, follow the best practices of any content marketing strategy and post with some frequency. After updating its profile photo on Sep. 25, 2012, Domino’s next post didn’t happen until June 6, 2013. What happened during those 10 months? While Google Plus has certainly lagged behind Facebook as the social networking platform of choice, you’re not doing yourself any favors by ignoring your followers on the search engine’s network.

Related: Social Media: 5 Things You Shouldn’t Do

Make Sure People Know What You’re Selling

With equally poor communication skills on their Google Plus page, MasterCard doesn’t have a single post. What’s more, the company’s logo is the only recognizable image. Otherwise, you’d be hard-pressed to guess what the company actually offers if their brand recognition wasn’t so strong. Meanwhile, the profile background is the default Google Plus image, an oversight many other businesses are guilty of. If you want consumers to take your business seriously, change this immediately.

While Facebook and Twitter are the most notorious social networking sites, Google Plus offers an extraordinary resource of tools for business owners and budding entrepreneurs looking to increase foot and online traffic. It’s time to give this social platform some attention.

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