Social media channels are only as good as their membership. That’s why Facebook and Twitter are the two biggest players in the industry; they’re widely used, highly visible and enjoy huge levels of brand recognition. These channels aren’t the only ones available, though, and wise businesses diversify their social media portfolio. Learn the lessons inherent in MySpace’s history and get in early on a social network that’s gaining traction.
Not Everyone Uses It – Yet
Right now, people use Facebook because that’s where their friends are, but what happens when those friends move to the Next Big Thing as they almost certainly will? Companies that back multiple social media networks are insulated from the kind of collapses that have already afflicted social networking giants of years past. Does anyone remember Friendster and the sensation it became? Originally intended to be a socially oriented analog to Napster, the peer-to-peer music-sharing platform, Friendster was the first of its kind. It was the first social network to break the million-member mark, but today, the Friendster site is home to a Malaysian free-to-play game portal. The lesson here: First is not necessarily best, and even the biggest platforms can founder.
Google Plus may not be the next up-and-coming social media platform, but with backing from one of the most recognizable names in the industry, it certainly could be. The cost of investing a small amount of time and energy in Google Plus could pay huge dividends if it becomes the next major social media phenomenon.
Google Welcomes Branding
From its inception, Google Plus has made room for business on its social network. The company’s Communities feature lets businesses sign up as brands instead of using work-arounds and makeshift solutions to connect with their customers. Communities are also for groups of users with common interests, of course, but that’s also good news for business-oriented participants in Google Plus because it potentially puts them in touch with self-made marketing groups. If you sell fitness equipment, for example, you and your potential audience could benefit from participating in a Google Plus community for fitness enthusiasts, dieters, athletes and other related groups.
Google Plus is Business-Friendly
Google’s business-friendly platform may have parallels to LinkedIn, but while LinkedIn focuses on job markets, Google Plus makes it easier for employers and established companies to have a strong social media presence. One feature that’s unique to Google Plus is Hangouts, a built-in conferencing and messaging service that lets companies do everything from conducting focus groups to giving real-time product demonstrations. Instead of convincing your vendors or customers to download a separate app and learn a new set of controls for conferencing, everything you need is in one bundle. That’s especially important for B2B companies that rely on establishing relationships over the long haul with their customers.
It Isn’t as Empty as You Think
Anyone whose Facebook and Twitter feeds are constantly jumping with activity can be forgiven for thinking that Google Plus is like a vast city that doesn’t yet have residents. Your social activity might not be on Google Plus, but with 390 million users worldwide, plenty of people are already busy there. It isn’t as ubiquitous as Facebook and Twitter, but that doesn’t mean it’s a wasteland. Your social media marketing team can establish your presence on Google Plus and help you get involved in conversations you otherwise wouldn’t have heard.
Marketing on Google Plus Lets You Reach Your Entire Audience
Organic reach on Facebook is about to undergo a significant change. According to industry insiders, the social media giant plans to limit organic reach for businesses to a few percentage points of what they currently get. To get your message out to your entire audience will cost you, says Sam Biddle at ValleyWag, and that has many large companies concerned. All social media networks are businesses as well as services; they must find a way to monetize the activity that takes place on them, and many companies will consider it worthwhile to pay Facebook for increased reach. For the Coca-Colas and Nikes of the world, that makes sense, but small to mid-sized companies may find pricing prohibitive. Google Plus currently has no such program in place.
Join our circle at Reach Marketing Google Plus
Contact our social marketing experts today at 855.867.3224 to help you devise a social marketing plan.
© Reach Marketing LLC 2014 All Rights Reserved.