If you have been ignoring Google+ as a social media platform for your business, it’s time you revised you SMM strategy. With over 500 million active users and Google’s unbridled power, Google+ is a force to be reckoned with. Facebook may be the leading social media website, boasting over a billion users all across the world, but there are at least seven ways in which Google+ beats Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites hands down. Take a read.
1. Google+ Search Engine
Google+ social media search makes use of the complex algorithms and spiders that are driving Google’s groundbreaking success. Although Twitter has recently improved its search feature, and Facebook is still fumbling with its Graph Search, Google+ searches are already accurate and thorough. Google+ allows users to create #hashtag, just like Twitter. Facebook still has no tagging feature. What it means for business is that you can easily and precisely search for topics of your interest by entering the relevant keywords. You can instantly find out when customers are talking about your business or products. You can participate in discussions taking place in real time, interact with customers and opinion leaders and improve your updates.
2. Higher Visibility in Google Searches
Google has merged its social media into its regular web searches. Businesses that have Google+ profiles have a better chance to appear higher in Google searches. The “+1″ feature, which is similar to the “like” feature in Facebook, helps Google crawlers decide which particular content is trending more with the audience. Google ranks more popular content higher when people search for the keywords that such content contains.
3. Google+ Business Pages
If you already have a Facebook business page or a Twitter profile, you might be frustrated from time to time because of the limited functionality that these platforms provide. For instance, you cannot add people to your followers as a page admin on Facebook. You also cannot tag people, even if they like your page. On Google+, you can not only add people to your Circles as a page, but can also share content with them and tag them in your updates.
4. Google+ Circles
Google+ Circles are like groups of people interested in your page, or people whom you are interested in. You can simply add people to your circle by hovering your mouse cursor over their Google+ profile link, and ticking the Circle that you want to add them to. Circles allow you to target your updates for different groups of people. For instance, you may make different Circles for loyal customers, new customers, suppliers, dealers and media people. Whenever you want to share an update only with a selected group of people, you can share it with the appropriate Circle(s). Thus, a discount meant for dealers need not necessarily be shared with every one of your followers.
5. Google+ Hangouts
Hangouts is another Google+ feature that beats other social media sites by miles. Using Hangouts, you can hold real time face to face video chat or a video conference with up to 9 of your most important customers, dealers, friends, or associates. You can also find out through Google+ search when other Hangouts are in progress and join one of those on your favorite subjects. Hangouts allow you a level of personalization unparalleled by other social media. You can hold focus group interviews, taste and product trials, important meetings and discussions, and gather customers’ feedback by scheduling and holding Hangouts.
6. Google Local
If your business is not listed in Google Local business directory, you have some catching up to do. You need to get your business listed in Google Places, for which Google will verify your business address. Once your business is listed in Google Places, you’ll also get a Google+ page for your business.
Your customers will be able to reach you through your Google+ page and can also leave reviews about your products and services. Having a Local business page also improves your credibility with Google, so your business website and Google+ page are ranked better.
7. Google Authorship
If you have a personal Google+ page, you can claim your Google Authorship. What it means is that any content that you contribute to any website can be linked back to your Google+ profile. When the content you write appears in Google search results, it will have your Google+ profile picture displayed along with your name and the number of Circles you are in (see below). This not only improves the ranking of the content you write, but also makes it more credible for readers.