by Baylan Megino The unmistakeable rising visibility of Google Plus is forcing business marketers to seriously ask “Why use Google Plus for business marketing,” and consider adding +1 to their arsenal for exposure. Social media for business marketing uses the 3-legged foundation of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The three main channels cover the majority of online visitors for B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) markets. For some audiences, adding Pinterest and Instagram will gain further headway into the market. But what about Google Plus?
I have to admit that I am still only dabbling in Google+ for myself, but I am recommending that certain of my clients dive in to Google+. It’s clear to me that if you’re a thought leader, or you do training, or you want to have real conversations, maybe even substantive conversations with your people, or you want to present a solid persona on the internet, then you should be on Google+. Seriously.
I was on a conference call about social media with speakers from one of the large internet marketing companies, and an SEO company. I posed the question: What about Google+? It surprised me when the answer essentially was that G+ is “just another social media channel.” Huh?
When you look at the WHOLE picture of Google+, you have to look from the 15,000 mile high perspective. Now, what I am about to say is something that perhaps is dangerous to share — after all, I want to be a larger fish in a small pond as much as anyone else. But this pond is quickly going to overflow its banks and go gushing into the ocean. This is something I’m sharing because I want to help grow the pond.
Let me give you my take on the social media world. In a nutshell: Twitter is for quick hits with global exposure with some total strangers, Facebook is my community/neighborhood of people I know, and LinkedIn is where I hang out with my business friends. Sure there’s overlap. My system does not rely on building inflated numbers of connections with people I’ve only met once, if at all. Depending on whether it’s on Facebook or LinkedIn, either we know someone in common, or I have some kind of in-person connection. In LinkedIn, my contacts largely are people I can recommend. This may be the slow way to grow, but it feels to me like it’s growing with substance.
So when I look at Google Plus, or G+, I see more than a channel. I see a whole environment. Think about it: Where else can you plug into a network of services that gives you globally searchable content (Google Plus), search result “authority” (Google Search), a training room (YouTube), and a community (Google Plus Communities) — and you get all this with one post? Well, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration. You do have to fill out your account details, so it can show up in the Google Search authority box. You do have to post something on your blog if you want to share it so it can be +1’d or seen by your community. You do have to put something on YouTube if you want to share it to get traffic.
True, with Twitter you can get a huge amount of exposure that gets you around the world in a millisecond. And then it’s gone, and you have to plan for the next one and the next one and the next one. You have to keep fresh and relevant with a lot of effort.
With Facebook, you have your community and your followers, but it is limited to those in Facebook. And unless you know the ins and outs of optimizing your posts on Facebook, the company’s recent changes in its way of determining who sees your posts is making it harder and harder to get exposure to your own people without paying.
LinkedIn – I love it, and it takes a lot of time to nurture. AND the relationships you create here are very targetted on growing each other’s business. If you’re in business, you cannot ignore LinkedIn.
While I’m not saying that I am leaving the other channels, I am deciding to tighten up my online interactions, realign my communications, and focusing more on building on Google Plus.
I expect that over time the exposure on Google+ will spread and be laid down like putting many layers of paint and buffing each one so that by the time you hit the last layer you have something that is deeply layered and silky smooth to the touch. Who wouldn’t want that?