In June 2011, Google joined the thousands of people trying to develop “the next Facebook” when they launched Google+. Due to the social media explosion at the time, many people had high expectations for a social media platform created and operated by the mighty Google.
However, a few months into the experiment it became apparent that Google+ was very far from being the social media platform of choice for most of the internet users. Even Google’s attempts to boost the platform, by installing the app on all Android devices and making Google+ pages and authors rank higher on Google search results, never really succeeded in boosting the user numbers substantially.
Because of these facts, many business owners and marketing managers put very little, if any, effort into their Google+ marketing efforts.
Is it wise to ignore the platform completely? Not at all. Here are a few reasons why it is still a good idea for business owners to make use of Google+ as a part of their overall marketing strategy:
Google+ is not a dead platform at all
By April 2015, Google+ had an estimated 111 million active users. This is far from Facebook’s 1.79 billion or Twitter’s 317 million, but it is still a very substantial number. Google+ has also been showing slow but steady growth since 2011, and its user base is still growing every year.
Most people would agree that it is a bad idea for any business to ignore a potential market of more than 111 million people.
Google+ is great for targeting niche markets and fan bases
One of the standout features of Google+ is its community focus. There are communities of people joining in groups and sharing information about just about every topic on earth. Almost like the old “fan clubs” of the late 1900’s, these communities share pictures, jokes, information and other media about any topic that they are interested in or passionate about. Some of the current top communities include Star Wars, Night Photography, Anime, Gaming, the Walking Dead TV show, and the Raspberry Pi.
If your business has a customer base that tends to be passionate about a certain topic, you can easily tap into that community by posting content related to the topic of discussion. This is a tremendous opportunity for marketing professionals who want to get creative with their marketing efforts.
Google immediately indexes all Google+ posted content
This is good news for your business’ search engine performance. Whenever you post something on Google+, Google’s search engine will immediately index the content that you just posted. If you link your business’ Google+ and Google My Business pages with your website, combined with some links in the Google+ content that points back to your website, you can increase your website traffic considerably.
Google+ could help you feature better in local search results
If your business is location-centred, such as dentists, doctors, or hairdressers, an active and properly configured Google+ / Google My Business page can help you feature high in Google’s search results for searches surrounding your location. This works through Google’s “Local Search Carousel”:
On Google+ you can also get some of your customers to give you a positive review, which could also give you an advantage over your competition.
Though Google+ probably should not be your primary digital marketing focus, it could still be very beneficial to your business. Ignoring it could deprive you of substantial potential business. Creating a Google+ account is quick and easy, and chances are you already have one even if you don’t know it yet, since you automatically get a Google+ account when you create a YouTube account.
Take the time to configure it properly and add all your details. Then start using it as you would use Facebook or Twitter for your business, and unlock a new, targeted marketing base.