Many businesses are currently using Facebook as a staple of their social marketing strategy. How should they respond to the release of Google+?
What is Google Plus 1?
Google+ is essentially the same concept as Facebook. Whereas Facebook is more established and currently has more users and content, Google+ has tweaked and added features that will make it an attractive option for many individuals and businesses.
The new social media site has some new features and slightly different terminology. For example, Google+ has circles instead of friend lists. This feature allows users to easily group followers, which could be helpful for businesses who want to target segments of their followers. Different posts could be sent to the employees, customers and preferred customers circles to allow for better communication and more targeted marketing.
Does Google Plus 1 Mean the end of Facebook?
Many individuals are signing up for Google+ and some are abandoning Facebook for the new platform. Estimates are that there are already over 10 million users on Google+ and this figure is rapidly growing. Given complaints about Facebook’s privacy policies, many users may switch to Google+ which intends to attract users with privacy and information control settings. You want to make sure your business can reach these people.
Major Benefits of Google Plus 1
A major purpose of social networking is to help people find your business online. The more internet pages refer to your businesses, the easier it will be for your business to achieve high search engine rankings which will allow your customers and potential customers to find you. However, Google+ may not only give you the benefit of added exposure, it may also help you increase your search engine rankings in new ways.
Does Google Plus 1 Give Your Preferential Treatment with the Search Engine Algorithms?
Google+ posts may receive preferred treatment in the Google search engine algorithm since both programs are run by the same company. Also, the Google search engine start display the number of “+1”s (the Google+ equivalent of Facebook “likes”) for each page on its results pages. So the more “+1”s you can collect, the higher the profile of your site. Furthermore, Google+ will use an algorithm to recommend pages of interest to users called Spark pages. Getting sparked would be a great way to advertise your business.
Google Plus One Corporate
Google+ Corporate accounts are not generally available yet. Corporate accounts are expected to launch by the end of 2011. For now, only individuals may sign up for an account. Google has hinted their Google+ Corporate will include features designed for businesses. These may include integration with other Google programs such as Analytics and Adwords.
It is possible that Google+ could fizzle like Google Wave and Google Buzz; however, in the event it is successful and proves a challenge to Facebook, Google+ could become an essential component of future social networking strategies. An early adopter has an advantage of getting established on a new social networking site. For now, consider opening an individual account for CEO’s and business owners on Google+ and watch for news about the launch of Google+ Corporate.
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