Social media marketing is a complex process that keeps many business owners confused, and for good reason—the results are often ambiguous, and the rules change regularly.
That said, there is a reason digital marketers keep their companies active on social media: It is a marketing avenue that cannot be ignored.
Your business probably has a Facebook account, but does it have a Google Plus account? Google Plus offers another channel for social media marketing, one that can generate significant results.
When Google rolled out its social networking platform in 2011, there was a lot of hoopla. The world’s biggest search engine set out to compete with the world’s biggest social network, Facebook. Initial opinions were less-than-stellar.
Fast forward to today, though, and the noise is again growing around Google Plus. It now ranks as the second-largest social networking site, according to Business Insider, topping Twitter for total users. This should make any business sit up and pay attention. Google Plus is now number two, and it is completely integrated with the world’s go-to search engine.
What is Google Plus
If you have yet to explore it, Google Plus is, at first glance, fairly similar to Facebook. You create a profile for your business and start making connections. When people like something and want to share it, they click a +1 symbol and it shows up on Google Plus.
The major difference between Google Plus and Facebook is one of exposure. Yes, more people use Facebook. But Google looks first to its own social networking site for information. This means that more than likely, if you post something on Facebook and Google Plus, the Google Plus post will show up in a search first.
Designed to Make New Connections
According to Google, Google Plus was designed to make new connections. In comparison, the company says, Facebook is designed around connecting you with people you already know. This distinction is important for businesses, because what you want is new business.
Google Plus does this by letting you define your experience. Using Circles, users can exercise complete control over what others see and do not see. This privacy itself is attractive, but the flip side to this is that you can seek out new connections by joining circles devoted to a specific subject.
As a business, you create circles for different types of customers. This way your marketing messages are targeted to exactly the group you want, and no others. If you wanted to target students, for instance, as GetDirectTV.org has done with its scholarship offer, you can.
Google Plus also offers Communities, a bigger form of Circles, that you can join as a brand, Forbes reports. Joining as a brand is not an option on Facebook.
Not a Replacement
The key thing to remember in digital marketing is that the more channels you can use effectively, the better for your bottom line. Google Plus is not a replacement for your company’s Facebook presence but is should be a supplement. Ignoring the potential of Google’s social media platform is shortsighted.