Earlier this year Google stepped boldly into the social world with the individual release of Google+. On Monday Google opened the new network for business profiles (called Google+ pages).
While there has been a lot of buzz around the marketing world about Google+, we have yet to see it perform so well we consider it a “must have” in your Internet Marketing arsenal. However, there are some things every business should pay attention to and ask as you consider Google+.
What’s the Purpose of Social For Your Company?
There are many purposes for social. The primary ones are:
- Generate buzz about your brand/products
- Convert sales – example is Facebook eCommerce
- Customer support/retention
- Product ideation
- A tactic in SEO
For more on these, check out the Social Networking Coffee Hour from Friday, November 4th.
Depending on your primary tactic for social, Google+ may be a good idea, especially if your goal is simply to gain another link for your off-site SEO strategy. Also, if you’re working to own more of the search real estate around your brand, this can definitely help with that effort.
However, if you really want to create buzz or get in touch with your current or potential market, you probably want to explore Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn as a more effective strategy right now. Why? Consider the sheer number of users and visits.
The Unfortunate Truth Around Google+
While just about every analyst we see suggests Google+ has great potential, we have yet to see that potential realized. When Google+ was publically release in September, members and visits soared, with many claiming it would exceed Facebook by the end of the year.
However, according to Hitwise and Chitika, two firms who track traffic and site utilization across many categories, the overall performance has not been “underwhelming”. Just take a quick look at the chart below for an illustration of where Google+ stacks up against other social networks in terms of both registered users and daily activity.
Part of why Google+ is getting so much attention from the Internet Marketing world is the expected integration of the “+” metric into the Google Algorithm (for more see our SEO Post from April 7th, 2011). While it has not been admittedly added to the algorithm yet, we expect it to be at some point, especially with Facebook engagement metrics now being part of the Bing algorithm.
Additionally, Google told its staff that 25% of their bonus would be tied to the success of Google+. While it’s understandable Google wants to see their product succeed, their track record is so low with social products this seems like a very forceful tactic that can drive desperation internally and social ostracization externally.
Understanding What Will Work
Part of any type of marketing, whether it’s direct mail, paid search marketing, or social media marketing, is making a plan and doing research to determine what will work for you. Take time to do the research and make a plan before you begin taking action. If you don’t have time or don’t know where to start in making this plan, let DirectiveGroup be your Social Media Marketing Partner. We have cost-effective strategies available to help you determine whether social is right for you, and in what way. Give us a call at 866-925-9524 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.