In the social media world, Google+ was always treated like a bit of an outcast. If the internet were a high school, Google+ was the kid who bought all of the right clothes and knew all the right moves, yet still didn’t have the “it” factor needed to sit at the lunch table with the lovable jock (Facebook), the cool gossip (Twitter), the young professional (LinkedIn), the artsy genius (Instagram), or the one who would just keep disappearing (Snapchat).
That’s a shame, because Google+ has always had a lot to offer – and it still does, particularly for brands and local businesses looking to make a mark with digital marketing.
Its integration with Google and its remarkable simplicity make Google+ a worthy addition to your business’ social media marketing campaign. Here are three important reasons why it’s time to give the platform a fresh look:
1.) It’s Actually Pretty Popular
While it hardly has the star power of Facebook or the buzziness of Snapchat, Google+ has been a virtual workhorse for years now, and a lot of industry have taken notice.
There may be up to 375 million monthly active (MAU) users for Google+, and Google Communities average 1.2 million new joins per day. Of those users, many work in exactly the sorts of in-demand fields that are powering B2B organizations in the new millennium; specifically, Google+ users are into tech, as the top occupations using the platform are engineers (29%), developers (17%), and designers (14%), according to research from SproutSocial.
2.) You Can Easily Reach Gmail Users
One important thing to remember about that MAU number above is that it doesn’t tell the complete story. You see, in total, there are more than 2 billion Google+ profiles, because every Gmail account comes complete with a Google+ profile automatically.
That cross-platform integration comes with some exciting perks for the Google+ user. Why? Well, every time someone opens an email in Gmail, the sender’s Google+ profile automatically appears with the content of the message (check in the upper right corner of your screen). Click on the sender’s photo and you’re automatically sent to a Google+ page.
For the savvy promoter, this is an amazing opportunity, since Google+ is ripe for customization and optimization. In addition to a headshot, you can use your Google+ page to share your bio and your additional contact info; even more importantly, you can share content via your personal or corporate Google+ account, providing anyone who comes to you via Gmail with all of the information they may need or want to do business with you – while goosing up referral traffic and social proof for your content marketing at the same time. It’s a win-win-win-win!
3.) Google+ Can Boost Your SEO
While Google may be a bit of a black swan in the social media game, it has long been the end-all-be-all of the search engine world. That makes Google+ an easy choice for any brand that’s trying to capture organic traffic with SEO.
How are Google+ and Google search rankings related? Google crawls and indexes content posted to Google+ much more quickly than other types of content.
It can take quite a while for Google’s crawlers and bots to search and index the many pages of your website unless you submit them manually – or just post them to Google+. It goes without saying that Google search privileges its own in-house social network higher than others; simply sharing your new content on Google+ may allow your post to rank higher, and will certainly help your post rank more quickly.
This process is made even more effective if you’re truly active on Google+: That means making sure your profile is up-to-date and optimized; that your posts come ready with great titles, images, and meta-descriptions; and that you’re making use of “Circles” and “Communities” on the social network.
Communities are often overlooked, but they’re actually extremely active hubs for conversation and sharing online, making them a great place to promote your content and gain a following; as we mentioned earlier, Google Communities has been seeing more than a million joins per day, and several communities boast hundreds of thousands or even millions of users, making them a great space for promoting your brand narrative and finding new sources of referral traffic.
Want to take a fresh look at your social media marketing plan? Curious about how best to optimize your online profiles for maximum impact? Ready to produce compelling, shareable content? We’re here to help! Our team lives and breathes social media and content marketing, and we’re always ready to share our expertise. Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!