Should My Brand Use Google+?
The world of social media marketing is saturated with so many options, from Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest. Brands are flooding social networks to share content and build communities, and, if you’re not using it yet, Google+ should be on your radar for 2014.
Many brands are still overlooking the significance of Google+, long considered to be the stepchild of social media giants. But the latest statistics already have Google+ at more than 540 million active monthly members, a membership that is second only to Facebook.
Brands should embrace Google+ in what many industry experts are predicting as the Year of Content Marketing. Here are a few reasons why you should consider adding Google+ to your online marketing mix:
Instant indexing and SEO
Just like Twitter and Facebook, Google+ uses hashtags, allowing users to conduct searches based on specific keywords. The difference is, Google+ is pulling from the world’s largest search engine – Google. Brands incorporating hashtags into Google+ posts experience a significant spike in the number of clicks and website traffic.
Brands are able to claim authorship of their content by having writers link their Google+ profiles to the content they’ve created. When the two are linked, that author’s photo will appear alongside the article in organic search results on Google. Search results with author photos alongside of them have seen higher click-thru-rates than search results without. Click here to download our guide to connecting Google+ Profiles to your website. UPDATE: In August 2014, Google put an end to their Authorship program. Why end it? And what does the change mean for search marketing? Read our blog post, The End of Google Authorship.
Fuel for YouTube
It’s common knowledge that Google owns search, but did you know that YouTube is the second most popular site for searching? And it is owned by Google? That’s a powerful connection. If your company uses video for marketing or education purposes, make sure the videos are uploaded to YouTube and that the two accounts are linked.
Watch the Community Grow
Despite those statistics on active membership, at times, Google+ can feel like a wasteland. Don’t get us wrong – there are strong communities in industries like technology, healthcare, IT, and (as usual with any budding social media network) marketing and advertising – but for many brands, you’re not going to see the engagement (here in the form of comments, +1s, clicks) that you may be accustomed to on Facebook and Twitter. Be patient though, we’re confident these communities are going to grow over the next year.
At the very least, we encourage clients to set up their accounts and start sharing links to their website just like they would on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, as well as including a +1 button on their website or blog for easy sharing.
Google+ may still be low on the priority list when it comes to thinking about social media marketing, but we expect that to change in 2014.