Last week I talked about social media as a way “to communicate and interact online.” There are many individuals who stay in-touch with his or her friends through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The use of social media websites has been increasing and for businesses, they need to utilize social media as an important element for building and sustaining relationships. Not only does social media allow you to connect with your target market, it also allows you to better move people along “liking” you to “defending” your brand. Ultimately that is what you want to have for an individual to become a customer advocate and start making money off of his or her brand loyalty. In order to attract and cater to the right target market, be intriguing and publish relevant information. Therefore, where we will look into how Google Plus is emerging itself.
I do have a Google Plus account and to be honest, I have no idea how to use it. I have tried learning the different features but taking advantage of another social network site is a commitment I have to make. However I am not discouraging the use of Google Plus, I want to say is I do not understand the benefits and as a reader, you might not either. In the article Why Use Google Plus?, Kirsten Curtiss discusses relationship building.
Curtiss wrote, “Creating relationships with industry influencers (who may have big followings on Google Plus) might not seem that important to your business, until you realize that those relationships could extend your reach and help you become visible.” To imagine this better, understand social media as a network. As a company, you are there to get a voice heard and if you are not projecting your brand image then there is no need for an existence. Knowing many people might give you the chance to target the right audience if he or she shares your content with their own followers. Followers do influence each other so take advantage and think like a network.
Google Plus is more than a network rather it “integrates with the entire Google stable and carries significant weight in terms of SEO and organic search visibility.” The more +1′s that your page receives (equivalent to the Facebook like), the more frequently Google will show your content on its organic search. On Facebook, an individual can like many pages about different companies and products but these moments do not last long; moments that are on Google Plus are created with a purpose and content is designed to tell a story about a company.
From Optimizing Your Google Plus Profile, David Amerland describes semantic search and the benefit as “being able to extract the meaning of a search and deliver the best answer, not a list of choices.” Semantic search is very different in that your content (if possible) will show up within the first page and provide the necessary answer to a user’s lingering question. Regarding search engine optimization, use keywords, link building, and content writing on a website for customers to notice your social network site. Also, content sharing among networks and the trustworthiness of people sharing the content creates a social signal for Google to notice. For that to happen, Google needs to love your content and you want to accomplish this by having a Google Authorship. Google Authorship is a ranking signal that Google uses to measure created content and content originated from you. Google is there to boost your Author Rank but you need to publish content that will be shared and positively reviewed. Now if you have not explored a lot with Google Plus, do not worry because here are some tips to get started:
- Be Visual
- Start A Community
- Set Up Google Authorship
- Share Content From a Range of Sources
- Make the Most Of Your Profile
- Improve the Images You Post
Although Google Plus is the 2nd biggest network in the United Kingdom. Right now, Google Plus is allowing all of its Gmail users to send emails to anyone. Does this sound ridiculous, or a good marketing tool? The only exception in this is an individual must have a Gmail and Google Plus account even if the sender of the email does not have that person’s e-mail address. I know some people who do not use his or her Gmail accounts for a professional purpose, but as a source container for spam e-mails. You do not want to be put with spam! I do not know how much more I can elaborate on this, but spamming gives your company a bad image even if it is with a good purpose. Google had a similar idea that it did with the set-up of Buzz, the social network based on Gmail contacts. Eventually it was shut down because “Buzz was the subject of a Federal Trade Communications fine over privacy violations.” Although there might be some precautions with this new approach by allowing Gmail users to opt-out and shut off the setting for business accounts. No matter if a company is reaching out to its potential customers, please do not plea in a desperate attempt!
Vikas Bajaj wrote A Desperate Plot To Boost Google Plus by stating, “Google is trying to use its dominant position in one field to push a lesser service onto unsuspecting users.” Google isn’t apart of the social networking site, to me, they are weakening their image as a Internet service and product provider. I cannot say it is a bad thing what they are doing to their customers is ethical or not, but Google Plus is aimed at a social network for companies to attract their potential customers. Though Google Plus might try protecting its Gmail users from barrage of unwanted messages and here are differences Google Plus has against Facebook.
The positive aspects to Google Plus:
- Google Hangouts – being able to watch and share content among your community.
- Circles – Organizing contacts into social groups (e.g. “Suggested Users”) as well as filtering your “stream” (or news feed).
- Instant Uploads – Uploading videos or photos instantly (with an Android phone) and sharing that content similar to Twitter.
On the other hand, here are the bad aspects to Google Plus:
- Real Name Policy – It is a service relying on truthful information from its users to help build future products.
- Facebook is on to the G+ Game – Facebook has changed its privacy settings to help keep its users loyal unlike with Google Plus.
From Google Plus vs. Facebook: Who’s Winning? these differences between Google plus and Facebook is an ongoing battle between who has the social networking realm. It is up to you to decide that when you are creating a personal or company social account.