When you ask if Google+ has been a success or failure, people tend to compare it with Facebook. But that’s a wrong move, as perhaps that wasn’t Google’s intention anyway (see Fast Company).
Whilst it has things in common with other social media, G+ is different in many aspects. It’s not quite a ‘’Google’s version of Facebook’’ either. Something more than just a social network.
Nevertheless, if no one is using it why be bothered? Why you should love Google+?
Ok, ‘love’ in the title is a bit exaggerating. But there are some logical reasons why you NEED (to love) G+.
Let me take you back to where G+’s competitive advantage lies.
The bottom line is that… we use google to search something.
Love it for better SEO
G+ is ‘a sleeping giant’, according to Likable Daily.
Google dominates in the area of SEO. In general, it knows better in what you are looking for than any other search engines. And G+ is a way to strengthen what it is already good at.
For example, updating your blog on G+ helps your post appear on the top results on Google’s organic search.
If a person following your brand on G+ is looking for something on Google, your content is more likely to come up on search result page.
That’ll actually save your precious time from trying to learn about how to do SEO, and how to use Google keyword tools.
This is particularly important for small businesses, because of its ‘low cost and high potential impact’ (see wishpond).
Love it for better functionality
It’s not just for the sake of SEO.
Some leading brands are making the most of G+ Hangouts and Helpouts. G+ Helpouts are ‘a place designed to find or provide help to anyone at anytime’ (see Likable Daily). Having been launched last year, brands are starting to utilise this function.
Rosetta Stone, for example, have been using Google Helpouts for video-chat language lessons at a relatively low cost. Other brands like Sephora and Redbeacan give a completely free services using face-to-face video chat.
Love it for better brand engagement
Brands and businesses can benefit so much from G+ communities, a place where people come together and discuss shared interests. What’s the role of brands here? – To ‘drive, participate or moderate’ conversations AND maintain your authority in the area (see hootsuite).
National Geographic’s ‘Exploration’ brings together people who have a “sense of adventure, a passion for exploration and discovery, a love of learning, and a desire to make a difference”.
A study conducted by Forbes actually showed a higher engagement in G+ rather than Facebook or Twitter (see more here).
Love its ‘no-ad policy’
You’ll find no ads (at least at this point) on G+, unlike Facebook. Instead, it focuses on “social annotations”, that show the number of followers and people who have +1’d your business in search results (see rebeccawardlow.com).
“Ads are a disruptive experience when [a user is] trying to have a meaningful conversation or look at a picture of a grandchild”, says Google’s Global Marketing Director.
So why don’t you still love it?
In fact, many brands have G+ accounts. Besides once you’ve got your G+ page, you can sync your Facebook updates into G+. So no extra efforts required.
As long as Google remains, G+ is not likely to go away. Given its impressive functionality and SEO value, more businesses should be more positive about it. But the sad truth is that most of them don’t quite know how to utilise G+’s fantastic features.
Maybe that’ll be something to talk about next time. But for now, hopefully you are more optimistic about G+.
What do you think?
Image source: weheartit.com