For a long time now, there has been a lot of talk about the death of Google Plus (G+). After all, no one really raves about Google’s social networking site in the same way they do about Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
But, as Google’s head of photos, streams and sharing, Bradley Horowitz puts it: “Google Plus is not dead. In fact, it’s got more signs of life than it’s had in some time.” It may be taking a different direction but it sure sounds interesting from what Horowitz recently stated:
“Three and a half years into this journey, we’re looking at what the users are telling us Google Plus is good for [and] moving aside the things that either belong as independent products, like photos, or eliminating things that we think aren’t working. … I’m not going to divulge the product plans. You can connect a couple of the dots yourself [but] you’re about to see a huge shift in what Plus is becoming”.
So, does anyone use Google Plus?
To really understand the value of Google Plus, it is important to realize that the social networking site was not designed to be a standalone product to compete with other more popular social networks.
On the contrary, Google Plus offers a very specific platform for users who are looking for a slightly different environment where they can explore interests at a deeper level and have conversations that are more meaningful.
Here are some reasons why every smart marketer should have Google Plus in their bag of social media tools:
Without a doubt, Google captures the largest share of the search market. This has big implications for marketers who want to make their content more visible – playing in Google’s sandbox is definitely an added advantage for your optimization efforts.
The content that you post on Google+ has greater potential to rank on the search pages, compared to the content posted on your website. Yes, Google+ should not (and honestly, cannot be) the only way to drive your SEO strategy. However, this platform can be very effective in helping you gain visibility for your content. There is no reason why you can’t appear on the first page of Google for your keyword within minutes by posting to Google Plus!
Interaction is key to getting your content ranked higher on the search pages. This means that the more people share, reshare or +1 your content, the higher the content will rank.
Perhaps the greatest feature that sets Google+ apart from other mainstream social networking sites is the ability to organize your contacts in Circles and interact with diverse content and people based on interests through Communities.
Circles is not just a nifty feature that lets you organize your content; it is also a great way to target your audience so that you are delivering content that is relevant to them. As you may already know, targeting your content to the right audience is the first step toward garnering greater engagement among customers and prospects.
The Communities feature is especially important for marketers who are looking to grow their audience and network, and interact with likeminded people. Whether you have a product that is suited for a very specific audience or you want to share content that you think will resonate with certain people, Communities on Google+ lets you find the right people with whom to share with.
If you have ever tried to reach out to celebrities or influencers in any niche, you know how difficult it can be. Most celebrities will ignore your efforts to reach out to them, whether you do this on email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other platforms.
Google+ is arguably the only platform where influencers will likely not ignore you. How so? You may wonder.
Unlike other social sites, the users on Google+ are interested in very specific subjects from food to fashion, Star Wars to Games of Throne, online marketing to ecommerce. This allows users to form and join communities as people who share the same interests. This sort of camaraderie makes it more feasible to connect with influencers with whom you share the same interests.
Any smart marketer knows that relationships are everything; it is whom you know that really matters. Just being able to connect with authorities, celebrities or influencers in your niche will certainly give you the leverage that is necessary for the success of your business.
The ability to communicate live with your tribe cannot be underestimated. This Google+ Hangout advantage is a great feature.
The Hangouts feature lets you hold live video chats with people in your communities and circles. The layout is very professional and any number of people can join the video chat.
Another great related feature is Hangout on Air that lets you broadcast a live video event that you can schedule in advance, invite people to watch and save it on your YouTube channel as a recorded video.
Whether you want to host an event, do a product demo, make a presentation, broadcast an interview or simply answer questions from customers or prospects, Google Hangouts and Hangouts on Air let you do just that with only a few clicks.
Everyone agrees that YouTube and Google is a match made in heaven. Why? Google is the largest search engine while YouTube is the world’s largest and most popular video social networking platform.
Video is big right now and it will continue to be in the foreseeable future. Research after research shows that more than 50% of marketers rank video as the content type with the highest ROI. Today, YouTube attracts an estimated 1 billion active users; this is more active users than any other social networking site.
Due to the seamless integration of Google properties, videos posted on Google+ and hosted on YouTube rank much higher than they would if they were posted in your website or in other locations. The same is also true for videos posted on your YouTube channel and properly optimized—these videos will be more visible and findable not only on the main search pages but also for users on Google+ who are looking for your video content.
So, there you have it, Google+ is alive and kicking. People still use it, and to great success. Although the platform may not be making waves and splashes, there are hidden gems here that any smart marketer can exploit, if you want to grow your community, meet and work with great influencers, and build authority in your niche.
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.