You might be one of the many people who are irked with Google for one reason or another. Regardless, you cannot ignore Google+ in your social marketing strategy.
Unhappy with Google
We talk with people every day who are irritated with Google for some reason. Many people believe Google is invading their privacy and tracking/storing far too much information about their online activities. Others dislike some of the recent changes to the search algorithm. Some detest the inclusion of social media in search results, and some are marketers who must rethink their SEO strategies to retain high rankings in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
One of our own team members who previously did a large amount of writing for search optimization is surprisingly happy about the changes. It is good to see an emphasis on good quality content instead of keyword stuffing. By the way, our team member never produced that kind of vapid content, insisting that clients produce quality material. We have all clicked on an item in the SERP, only to arrive at a website so badly written and keyword dense that it is unintelligible. We are delighted to see that kind of “writing” given its true worth.
Three Reasons Why You Cannot Ignore Google+
There are three reasons why you cannot ignore Goggle+, even if you are unhappy with Google for some reason.
1. Google+ Circles are a great way to keep friends and followers up to date. Yet for businesses, the implications of Circles of customers, prospects, vendors, partners, etc., etc. are mind-blowing. You have an instant focus group for new product/service discussions, a ready pool of responders to market research questions, and (if you are sneaky) a possible cadre of spies who can check out your competitors and share vital intelligence. Most important, building Google+ circles of customers and prospects creates an ideal platform for powerful customer relationships and lead nurturing.
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Romeo, the little black dog, has circles of friends, just like businesses can have on Google+
Think about that for a minute. If you have the staff and the skills to do so, you can create a Google+ Circle for each stage of your lead nurturing process. You can work with people in each group both individually and collectively. You can test and refine your messaging and the match of the content you provide at a given moment with the specific needs of the prospects at that moment. This leads to the second reason.
2. Google+ Hangouts are cool. Live video chat is an idea that sets the imagination spinning. As you build your Google+ Circles, members can gather in a hangout and talk about what interests them. If the people in the Google+ Circles are customers or prospects at various stages of the lead nurturing process, then you can deliver content focused minutely on their needs.
There is one undeniable fact of human nature. There is no substitute for face-to-face communication – or for a handshake – when selling. Although Google has not figured out the online handshake, Hangouts are an interesting approximation of being face-to-face with a customer or a prospect.
Just imagine what you could do in a Hangout with your business ambassadors or product champions!
3. Google+ is a major factor in the new Google Search algorithm. Panda and Penguin updates place greater importance on social signals and social links. If you want high search rankings, you need to get your social signals noticed. It is not rocket science to deduce that Google (which is still the number one search engine) will emphasize Google+ in its ranking algorithm. Search will always be important for businesses that want to be found online.
There are three very good reasons why you cannot ignore Google+ in your marketing and social media strategy. Even if there are things you do not like about Google, you cannot afford to ignore Google+. So, take a deep breath, count to ten, and then get out there and start being social with Google+. Build your Circles, use Hangouts, and earn the rankings you need on Google Search.