Why you should be on Google+ in 2014 ?
It is hard to follow all the Facebook changes… It never stop to evolve, though, we can be sure that one trend will always be the same: the reach decrease.
However Facebook is maintaining its 1st position as a social network with 1,15 billion of active users (sources: Facebook sept. 2013). At the same time, Google+, which has been called for a long time the ghost network, is gaining strenght and try to impose its social networks.
Released in 2011 as the direct competitor of Facebook, Google+ has been in the shadow for a long time. It is true, this network seemed to be at first less intuitive than Facebook. It was about circles, communities… Hard to understand how it works when we use Facebook for the past ten years.
The four main advantages of Google+
This network has known a massive growth. Today, there are 500 millions of Google+ accounts, 190 millions of Google+ members are active and 60% of them log themselves in Google+ everyday..(source Google 10/29/13)
Source Infographics: Agence TIZ
1 – The SEO
The brands that are on Google+ have understand the first interest of this network: the SEO. As a matter of fact, you have to be linked to this network to benefit from SEO advantages.
Even if, according to Matt Cutts, Head of the Webspam Team at Google, the number of +1 on Google+ has nothing to do with Google ranking…
…it is always good for a page or a post to gain more +1 because it will have more chances to be shared. And a shared page will usually be quickly indexed by Google. It makes sense: it will be a lot easier for Google crawlers to index page of their own network than their competitor’s network.
Moreover, since December Google link your search results to your Google+ activity. It means that if you have a Google+ account and if you have shared or given a +1 to articles, they will appear first in your search results when you will do an associated research. It is what Google call the Search Plus Your World ! The access to a personnalized content is an activated default option on Google. In order to be at the top of search results on Google, brands must have a lot of +1 and shares on their posts!
You can also declare on Google+ being a content author by linking your site with to account with rel= »author ». Your Google+ profile pic will be displayed next to your site link on the Google search engine. Thanks to the Authorship, Google collect a lot of informations about the content you create. We can imagine that the quality of your content, dependending on your « share » and +1, will be soon a decisive asset of your Google ranking.
If you want to promote your location, I would advise you to create a Google+ Local page , different from the other category of page, it allows your customers to know more about your location: map, address, time schedule… You will obtain more visibility in the Google search result page: a rich media ads will be displayed on the right side of the research page. And if your client is looking for a local competitor, you will be more likely to appear in the associated thumbnails.
2 – Google+ at the core of Google solutions
Google is trying to be everywhere by linking every solutions to Google+.
Maybe you have noticed, it is now possible to send an email from your Gmail account to a Google+ contact. When you write a name in the recipient box, you can see under your contact address some propositions of Google+ contacts. You can’t of course see their mail address, but you can send them mails that they will receive directly in their mailbox Gmail. It could be convenient when a brand want to send a message to a community. Be careful not to be considered as a spam.
Youtube, with its one billion of users per month, has totally include Google+ to its site. To have access to the comments section, you have to posess or create a Google+ identity. Is Google+ forcing us to be part of its network ? Of course yes ! Google+ find the perfect solution to quickly grow. The integration of Youtube is a two-side integration. Brands can add a Youtube tab on their Google+ Brand page to link their page with their own Youtube channel.
And it continues, the Google Play Store is also connected to Google+. As in the Youtube platform, to write an advice, you need to have a Google+ account.
3 – Google+ functionalities
Facebook is open to advertisement whereas Google, for now, excludes ads in its network. It allows a real exchange between its different members. Communities are maybe less active than in Facebook, but their exchanges are more valuable. The members focus on really precise topics.
Circles make it possible to target more precisely your audience. You can choose for your post to be visible for only a specific circle. Note: it is not possible for now to embed a promotional contest to a Google+ page, but I would advise you to talk about it on your page, besides you can choose to target a specific circle to collect at the end of the period a qualified data base.
Google Hangout is a great tool developped by Google which is part of the Google+ solutions. Brands can organize conferences or webinars to exchange with their circles and their community. A tool that provide a proximity with your contacts: prospects, prescribers or customers.
4 – A new advertising tool
Only available in beta version, +Post advertisements will enhance your content by displaying your post all over the Web. You pay only if an user interact with this content.
In conclusion, you will have to deal with Google+ in 2014. The question is how to associate this tool with your marketing strategy. In my opinion, the editorial line will have to be different from Facebook’s, it has to be more focused on the content. Members recruitment will depend on the virality of your content.
An advice: don’t hesitate to promote your Google+ account! You can do it by adding the G+ Badge Widget to all of your sites. It exists in many sizes:
Are you ready now for the Google+ adventure?