“At Google, the biggest mistake I made was failing to anticipate the rise of the social networking phenomenon,” admitted Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, in December of last year. “It’s not a mistake we’re going to make again.”
Even a cursory reading between the lines here tells you that it’s vital your brand builds a strong presence on Google’s own social platform, Google+.
Sounds simple enough? Yes and no. Creating a brand or business page on Google+ is indeed straightforward. Maintaining the page, regularly updating its content, growing its audience and nurturing audience members into becoming paying customers is a different matter entirely.
If you want your business to enjoy the benefits Google+ offers, you’ll need to understand and then employ a range of strategies specific to the platform; replicating what your business does on Twitter and Facebook just isn’t going to work. The time investment required is far from insubstantial, too.
Here’s where Strategy can help you.
Our Google+ Page Management service looks after everything from following best practice when setting up the page itself to attracting and engaging your target audience. We draw on our considerable social media expertise and Google+ experience to deliver strategies that will have a real impact on your bottom line.
Why Your Brand needs Google+
Google+ is Google.
If someone using Google’s search engine is logged into their personal Google account, whether that’s via Gmail, Google+, YouTube, Analytics or any other of Google’s many services, they will see personalised search results that include pages from Google+.
If and when Google decides to lend more weight to social signals then they are going to look to their own social network rather than Facebook and Twitter.
Although Google+ has been around since 2011, it is still in an ‘early adopter’ period. Millions of people signed up when the service first launched, but they didn’t not stick around to engage. It was like turning up to a nightclub too early; no one wanted to join in and start dancing so they left.
However, the party has definitely now started and people are re-engaging in increasing numbers. Alongside this, Facebook is making it harder for businesses to reach their fans unless they pay for advertising, so businesses are beginning to see the sense in moving to Google+.
With an active and engaging brand page on Google+, a business can reach out to their targets in a very similar way to other social networks, but with the following added benefits:
- If Google is going to use social signals in their search algorithm they will use Google+
- Rel=author provides credibility for writers (and shows a picture of your face in the search results)
- Rel=publisher provides credibility for brands (images of brands are expected to show soon)
- Google+ currently affects personalised search and may affect all search in the future
- Your competitors may not yet be maximising the Google+ platform, so you have a chance to get ahead of them
- If your targets are on Google+ and you are not then you are losing out
- If Google puts more weight on social signals and you have none then you will rank below those that do
as a brand, can you afford not to be on Google Plus?
Google+ shows you the ‘ripple’ effect that your posts have i.e. you can see exactly who is engaging with your content. This is an incredibly useful insight as it helps you to learn quickly what types of content resonate with which target audiences. Google+ is therefore a perfect platform to use for your community engagement and content distribution.
what Strategy will do for you
We will set up and run a business page for your brand on Google+, whether that’s as an agreed part of a wider digital marketing contract or as a standalone service.
There will be an initial period of research and ‘listening’ to identify targets and content that is already popular in your sector.
We will start by engaging with targets to get noticed and provide value, re-sharing their content on your page and adding +1s and comments on their posts. We then devise a strategy of content delivery that will encourage engagement and sharing by those same targets.
By defining objectives, we can measure the success of this strategy and record the engagement on each self-promotional post, including clicks through to your website, sales and the effect on search rankings. Over time, this will give us a clear indication of the kind of content that best engages your target audience and leads to increased sales and increased rankings.
Strategy would be aiming to develop a base of 50-100 ‘brand advocates’ through your Google+ page, which means that we want to have a pool of people who are effectively waiting for your content so they can share it to their networks and actively promote your content for you.
will 2014 be the year of Google+?
Strategy predict that Google will lend more weight to social signals when it comes to search engine ranking positions and this will come from Google+ first. Brands therefore need to pay attention to their social signals as neglecting this area is likely to have long term consequences, particularly if your competition is doing better in this area than you are.
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Featured image by Esther Vargasc