One of the big debates that I often hear is the one that typically starts with:
“But I’m already on Twitter and Facebook, do I REALLY need to be on Google+ ?”
If this sounds familiar to you and if perhaps you have been having this debate yourself, you may have already concluded that Google+ is just one social media step too many.
So here are 5 compelling reasons why it is almost certainly worth changing your mind.
Search Engine Rankings:
A major benefit to you if you have your own business is that whatever Google might claim to the contrary, there is clear evidence that when new content is posted on Google+, it often attracts the attention of search engines within minutes.
Clearly if you are posting fresh, new and useful content onto your Google+ account on a regular basis, then this one factor alone may readily help you become far more visible than your competitors who may not be active on Google+, as in effect you may rapidly achieve far higher rankings then your competition.
Google+ is by no means a small platform, with current estimates indicating that is has around 343 million users globally, however compare that with Facebook (1.15 billion!) & Twitter (500 million) and it definitely still has some way to go to in terms of competing with the reach of these other two platforms.
That being said, while the absolute number of new users is smaller than Facebook and Twitter, the growth rate of Google+ is exponential.
Also, as many people will attest , those businesses who started using Facebook as a social media platform when Facebook was still in its infancy some years ago have benefitted enormously from the massive growth of Facebook in recent years
So in a very real sense, getting active on Google+ now and building a strong presence for your brand in these relatively early days of its use may help your business become one of the more established brands on Google+ as its usage continues to grow and grow.
Much as is the case with the Facebook ‘Like’ functionality, the ability of a Google+ user to add ’+1’s’ to their posts, can serve as an indicator of social approval and endorsement of your posts and comments to your followers & customers alike. The +1’s also offer the opportunity for your followers to engage with you & validate any positive experiences that they may have of your business.
Additionally they let Google know that what you are posting is being shared & read and this can of course have a massive impact on search engine rankings as highlighted above.
Google+ Cross-Platform Functionality
The designers behind Google+ have wisely given the platform a range of multi-media capabilities that integrate many of the existing capabilities of YouTube, Facebook & Twitter into one social media vehicle.
For example, Google+ hangouts allow the user to make and run free one to one or group video calls, then record them & afterwards embed them into a Google+ stream once an event has taken place.
This would allow a business owner to potentially run interviews, present new products, run chats and focus groups & embed all of this into their Google+ stream – which from a follower or customer point of view would undoubtedly add massive value and greatly increase the experience of engaging with that business.
As with Facebook, events (including advance notice of Google+ hangouts) can easily be added to the calendar & advertised in advance to interested and targeted followers.
Additionally, Tags can readily be added to posts, which not only helps optimisation of content, but allows information to be more readily navigated.
And finally, following significant user feedback, the appearance of the new Google+ stream now allows for photos & video to fill the entire width of the stream, which makes content far easier to explore.
Links to other Social Media Accounts
Google+ makes it very easy to link other social media accounts that you might have – such as your Facebook ,Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest accounts.
Just make sure that these other accounts are congruent and ‘on message’ before you link them into your Google+ business account and do make sure that you follow the rules that we have established in previous articles, such that you are comfortable that there is nothing posted on these other accounts that may be detrimental to your business when it can be accessed via your Google+ account..
So,while at first it might seem that the addition of Google+ as another channel of communication may add little or no value to the time pressed business owner or entrepreneur, I would argue that with Google+ at this stage still being relatively new and novel, coupled with its multi-media capabilities and search engine rich functionality, Google+ is a definite MUST CONSIDER for all business owners and entrepreneurs keen to stand out from the crowd in an increasingly noisy market.