Ask any online marketer what they think about Google+, and most of them will probably roll their eyes and sigh. While it’s true that some brands have great success on Google+, most marketers struggle to get their G+ campaigns off the ground.
It’s often hard to find, let alone engage, your audience on G+. In fact, Forbes has gone as far as to call G+ a “ghost town”. But if you do locate your target audience and create engaging content that people want to share, G+ can take your social media and content marketing efforts to the next level.
We may not like G+, but it’s an absolutely necessary component of your social media marketing strategy. Here’s why:
Number of Users
According to Statista, G+ had approximately 343 million users as of October 2014, compared to more than 1.3 billion Facebook users and 645 million Twitter users.
Don’t let the lower number fool you – Forbes conducted a study that discovered that top brands had 90% as many fans on G+ as they did on Twitter, despite G+’s lower user base. Forbes also noted that of 60 000 adults surveyed, 22% visit G+ every month. And the user base is growing.
Many people dislike Google+ because they believe their followers are less likely to interact with their posts. However, a Forrester Research analyst recently studied user interactions with over 2500 social posts, and found that G+ posts received only 0.004% less interaction than Facebook, but 0.039% more interactions than Twitter.
If you can find your audience and create great content, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t find success on G+. If you’re having trouble, try locating your audience by exploring different circles and participating in new conversations.
It’s Better for B2B
G+ is a great combination of Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s casual, but many people use it for business or school-related reasons.
Many industry influencers have large followings and are very active on G+, and if your brand moves in the same circles as these influencers, then you have a great chance to expand your reach and create new brand advocates.
The SEO Benefit
It shouldn’t surprise you that Google prefers brands that have an active G+ profile to those that don’t.
Offering great content on G+ is a great way to improve your visibility and reach. If someone follows your brand on G+ or someone you follow +1s a post, chances are that post will be prominently featured on that user’s search engine results page. So the more shares and interactions you get, the more people will see your content directly on the SERP.
Links shared on your G+ profile also pass “link juice” on to the website you share. The more link juice you have, the higher you’ll rank on organic search results. So if you share your own blog or website content, you should see an improvement in your organic search ranking.
Weighing the Pluses and Minuses
G+ is too important to your website’s organic ranking and your SEO efforts to ignore, and if you produce good content and share it in the right circles, you should see just as much engagement as your other social media channels (if not more). So even if you hate it as much as broccoli or Justin Bieber, don’t ignore G+.