While there are thousands of social media sites active, there are no signs that the social media craze is going to slow down anytime soon. Take Google+, for example. Google launched Plus to all users in November 2011 and claimed that they can do social media better. You’re probably thinking that since you have Facebook and Twitter that you are already covered and connected with your market. Or maybe you’re overwhelmed with having too many web accounts and find it difficult to manage what’s incoming and outgoing. Perhaps it’s becoming too time consuming for you to provide informative, relevant, and entertaining content. Whatever your reasons might be, hold onto them and give Google+ a chance.
What are the Benefits of a Google Plus Business Profile?
Pre-existing and Future Clients Are Already on Board: As of June 2012, Google reports that over 250 million active users are on Google+! Because that’s such a high density of active users, they can all be potential customers that you can promote your business.
Less Users than Facebook and Twitter = Less Competition: We all know that Facebook and Twitter are the social media moguls in this game. Facebook may have bragging rights of over 955 million active users (as of June 2012), but only a fraction of them are old enough to have purchasing power. Twitter might be 500 million strong (as of April 2012) but only 50% of their users log in daily. Meanwhile, 57% and 59% of Facebook and Twitter users are females; men dominate Google Plus at 71% and over 60% of Google+ users log in daily. If your business is geared towards men, Google Plus has mannedup more clients for you to scoop up.
Google+ Encourages Direct and Personal Relationships: Ummm… say what? That’s right. Google+ allows you, the business owner, to interact directly with your clientele. Consumers like that. No one wants marketing and advertisements thrown at them 24/7. People want a human component to assist them when they are making purchasing decisions. While Facebook is overran and cluttered with miscellaneous ads and Twitter flooded with bots, Google+ info is dominated by quality content that lends itself to being relevant, professional, and informative. This leads to the profile owner having more control over the quality of their content, which would enhance the customer’s experience and be appreciated in the long run.
Cleaner Experience: This is an extension of the above point. Google+ has a clean interface. There are unique functions that are available on Google+ that are not available on any of the other social media sites: Hangouts lets you have live video chats, Huddles gathers people together for group messaging, Instant Upload shares mobile pictures that you snap with your Android phone and it automatically gets uploaded onto your page. You can use all those tools to further promote your business and allow your customers to see the human running the business at the same time.
Business Categorization and Local Searches: Although Local Pages has to be managed separately from Google+, this page categorization is powerful for local businesses because it allows customers to easily connect with the business’ physical location by including a map where the business is located, the address, phone numbers, and hours of operation. It’s like the Yellow Pages, and is just another way for businesses to get involved, communicate, and establish relationships with their customers.
Big Impact on Search Engine Results: Who doesn’t want more visibility on Google’s search engine?! Having a Google+ page would help your business pop up much faster. That’s just another way for consumers to find you when they do a Google search! In addition, the single number of all the+1 button clicks from websites, brand pages, and search results will be used to determine relevancy on Google Search results. That’s straight from Google’s Product Management Director, Dennis Trooper.
Possible Integration with Other Google Products: This is still a young social media site and has a lot of potential for future upgrades and new features. Will there be a YouTube integration? Perhaps Google Voice might play a role. Maybe Google Checkout might get linked? Hmm… We just have to wait and see!
Google+ has ushered in a new wave of interacting in the social media field by offering tools that can help business owners organize, localize, and advertise their products and business. For those who are frustrated with the fussy Facebook interface and tired of Twitter’s taxing spam, Google+ might just be the right fit.