Why Google Plus Is Now Our Primary Social Media Channel
I have been a fan of Google+ almost from the day it was launched and published several articles outlining the benefits it provided.
At that time, I had an underlying feeling that the direction Google+ was heading was a positive one, that unlike Google Buzz, they were very committed to G+ and that progressively (within 2-3 years) it would become a dominant social media channel.
That feeling has been justified with projections that Google+ may become the 2nd largest social media service by the end of 2012 as, in 7 short months, Google+ has gone from Zero to over 90 million users.
Now referring to it as a social media service is incorrect because this service is much more than simply a place where you can connect with friends and family as is the case with Facebook, or receiving / sending short messages as is the case with Twitter.
Google+ can be utilized in similar capacities, but it also delivers a few things which every business can benefit from, including the following which have led me to making Google+ our primary social media channel, the first service we post to and the service where we will progressively feature special offers:
User Enthusiasm and Engagement Is On The Up
When I set up a Facebook page early in 2011, I contacted all my friends and relatives who were on Facebook to join me and of course they did. My friends list slowly grew to just over 100 and has remained pretty dormant since.
By comparison, I have put minimal effort into attracting people on Google + yet, between my personal account and our Business Page, there are now close to 1700 people following me or our business on the service. Those numbers are very small compared to others. However, they do highlight the enthusiasm among Google+ users to “get involved and make it a success”.
Engagement is also vastly different. I have opened up my Facebook page on some days and seen that only 5 – 10 new posts have been submitted that day. This used to be much higher 9 months ago so I suspect Facebook fatigue may have set in with many.
By comparison, Google+ posts are flowing non-stop. Many are very informative and you can’t help but want to +1 or engage / comment.
Integration With Google Search
Google+ is an open system and so every “public” post you make is automatically indexed – and searchable – within Google. I stress the word public because private posts are not indexed.
This is excellent for businesses as it means extra search points within Google which I believe will remain the dominant search engine for some time.
Google have also gone one step further and integrated social search – via +1’s – with traditional search.
There are many who think this is a negative, that it distorts search results. However, I personally think it adds a valuable extra layer of relevance to search, something we will all really come to appreciate with time.
Strong User Support For Business Pages
When I established our Business Page on Google+ approximately 12 weeks ago, I commented on a Google+ post on the subject that I would be happy if it attracted even just 10 people as the extra search engine links for our content was enough to justify setting up the page in the first instance.
I used the figure of ten (10) followers as the page languished at below that level for the first two weeks and so I was envisaging a result similar to our Facebook Fan Page which has been a real disappointment.
Numbers are not an issue for me on my personal page as I am a low key person and what I do there is purely related to what I personally enjoy.
However, with our business, the more exposure the better!
Therefore, I was over the moon when our Business Page suddenly started attracting attention – we now have 500+ individuals and companies following our Page and growing almost daily. Not bad in literally 10 weeks, especially since our marketing has been limited to listing with G+ Business Pages Directory.
There are differences in the profiles of the individuals who follow us here versus those who follow me through my personal page which is very interesting in itself,. However, the big difference here is that companies are demonstrating support for one another through reciprocal following.
I appreciate the support and extra perspectives which both of these produce and will, in the future, feature exclusive “business-related” promotions for our Business Page followers.
There are many other benefits in becoming active on G+ as outlined in the articles below. The above however are why I have opted to make Google Plus our primary social media channel.