CALIFORNIA, September 16, 2013 — With the widespread success of social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, it was inevitable that the industry would be flooded with potential rivals vying for a slice of a larger financial pie. While many have tried, few have been able to compete.
Of those that have struck their own mark, Google+ has become an unmistakable leader. Though relatively new to the arena, the social platform backed by the search engine giant has gained from substantial engineering investments as well as its unique ability to influence Google search engine results for participating websites. Boasting such a powerful feature, along with a host of other attributes, Google+, with proper cultivation, could make Google+ an extraordinarily valuable weapon in the marketing arsenal of any business.
The first step toward Google+ success involves the correction of an admitted structural weakness: the physical web address. Profile page addresses are automatically generated, displaying as long strings of random numbers. While this might not mean much to the owner of the address, anyone else looking for a specific profile will find it nearly impossible to locate unless it was previously bookmarked. While other sites have built-in vanity URL options to create user-friendly alternate addresses, Google+ relies on outside sources to provide this service. For more consistent branding, http://www.gplus.to can handle any conversion need.
Once a new address has been assigned, Google+ users should tend to their “hovercard,” an increasingly popular and valuable kind of pop-up online business card.
Users should also not overlook the necessity for writing an engaging mini-bio. The mini-bio is often the first and only information presented another member can use to decide whether someone should be added to his or her social circle. The bio should state the “who, what, and why” of a business clearly and concisely. Since user mini-bios are comparable to those used on Twitter, they are often lifted from one platform and and placed into the other.
On the profile itself, it’s important to use search terms and keywords that help bring your page up in searches. The fact that Google+ permits features like sorted, bulleted lists allows people to gain information on your company or brand in a concise, easy to understand manner.
Additionally, linking to other social networking sites or your company’s websites directly from your profile is an advantage that Google+ has over the majority of competing social networking sites. Plus, if your page becomes popular enough, linking to and from other profiles will help boost your standing in Google’s PageRank system, and thus allowing you to gain substantially higher placement in Google searches.
Additionally, Google’s search algorithm has now been altered to cull Google+ user’s activity to feature prominently in search results. As the majority of people now discover new brands and products through search engines–Google in particular–this feature is possibly the most important advantage that Google+ can offer over competing social networking sites.
Similarly, the use of keywords and search terms in individual posts is another feature of Google+ that cannot be understated in its value. While Facebook requires you to pay more for higher visibility in order to boost its own profits, Google has no such interest in monetizing the visibility of their posts. That’s because their primary source of revenue continues to come from advertising. With Google+, your visibility simply relies on your ability to grow your circles, and not how much you can pay to be seen.
That in turn leads to the only true difficulty in using Google+ as a marketing tool: many new Google+ users discover that an audience for their service has not yet been created. While somewhat of a challenge, this drawback can also become an opportunity if handled properly.
What businesses must do is establish themselves as a leader on other social networks. As reputations and trust grow, these businesses can then promote their Google+ pages, effectively building the platform from competitor audience bases. For this strategy to be effective, a business must put enough time and energy into other social networks to be relevant and thought-provoking while offering some enticement to make an additional social network valuable to readers.
Nonetheless, the ability to grow your visibility without committing capital is what makes Google+ a favorite marketing tool among start-ups when compared to Twitter and Facebook. Clearly, a presence on all these sites is ultimately essential for businesses operating in today’s online world. But the unique circle system that Google+ offers provides young entrepenuers an opportunity to grow their audience through sheer persistance rather than through a large bank account. That’s what has led more and more start-ups to rely on Google+ to handle the bulk of their social network marketing.
Google+ can be a great addition to existing business marketing strategies. But understanding the current social media landscape is essential to generating continued success. Users are inundated with options, and Google+ owners must become intimately familiar with their audiences.
The real goal is to first determine why these audiences use social networks. Once this is ascertained, a business must investigate how Google+ can satisfy or enhance company needs in ways other platforms cannot. With this dual baseline in place, any business or organization can develop a a thriving online presence can yield untold benefits.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.