What Does Google Plus Bring to the Social Media Marketing Table?
Now that Google+ has come into mainstream availability, after a launch where membership was available to a restricted group of beta testers, many are questioning whether it offers anything new in terms of social networking and indeed social media marketing.
Uptake has been fairly quick, however a common complaint from a lot of users is that all of the connections they have on Google+ are people they already have on Facebook or Twitter, so unless Google+ offers functionality that these sites do not, it is more of a hindrance than a help to have to update an extra site, whether for business or for keeping on top of what your friends are doing.
One of the main benefits of Google+ is that it allows you to categorize your contacts into “Circles”, of which you can have as many as you like, meaning you can target certain things you share at a specific group of your friends. This can be done on Facebook using groups, but by no means as easily. It is virtually impossible to do on Twitter, unless you specifically mention the names of the desired recipients in your tweets. This is probably the main advantage Google+ offers for an internet marketer, because you don’t need to run multiple accounts or worry that you will annoy your customers with overly personal updates or your friends with promotional ones. Additionally, you can create circles that apply specifically to one campaign or promotion and manage the mailing list for that one set of communications through G+.
Another benefit is the higher level of integration with other Google products. If you have your companies mail through the Gmail interface, or your blog was created using Blogger, you will find many ways to handily connect your G+ contacts and content with these other services. Some of the more social features such as Huddles and Hangouts don’t lend themselves to marketing in an obvious way, but over time there is no doubt that canny marketers will find innovative ways to integrate these new communication features into their promotional work.
Google+ is very much in its infancy and even if it doesn’t currently offer anything that appeals to your own business needs it is worth becoming an early adopter – keep on top of new developments as they are introduced to the network and add your existing contacts as they join, and you may soon find that ideas for using this fresh social media tool for your benefit come flooding in.