It’s time to say goodbye to Google Plus community after the company’s recent announcement that the search giant plans to finally put its social network to rest after the New York Time’s discovery of a security flaw that had been known about since March.
In a recent article I wrote about the viability of marketing on this platform — I still agree that this holds true to today. Unfortunately the lack of transparency for Google has been the largest downfall and not the thousands of thriving Circles and brand followers there.
Google has issued this statement to its users:
To give people a full opportunity to transition, we will implement this wind-down over a 10-month period, slated for completion by the end of next August. Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data.
Although consumer user engagement has been low marketers have been able to use this social network to promote their articles, videos from YouTube, and attract targeted users through Collections and Circles.
It’s unfortunate to lose out on the many different communities that have been created on Google Plus community, but the good news is that brands have plenty of time to migrate their following elsewhere and build up their other social media platforms.
One of the top priorities your business will need to implement first is to update your website and remove the icons associated with Google Plus. This may take the help of a developer or if you have set this up with a plugin in WordPress you should be able to easily change this.
If this platform has been a part of your marketing strategy then you will want to take a look at these alternatives to send your followers to. Many of these places include groups and lists, and it is recommended that you create these first to be as similar as possible to what you have in place for Google Plus in order to minimize confusion and attract more people who are willing to make the switch.
1 – Facebook
As I have pointed out in my previous blog post about Google Plus, Facebook has had its share of algorithm changes and privacy concerns. But so far this has not deterred users from flocking there, especially when it comes to live video and Stories. Chances are your friends are connected with you on both platforms as well as on your brand Page. Take a look at who you are already connected with, and then find out whether you can ‘friend’ someone who is not on the list. After this you can invite anyone who is not a follower yet your Page and groups there.
2 – Pinterest
This is one social network that has remained steady in its growth over the last five years, and has experienced minimal controversy. That is because it is a formidable search engine as well as a social network. Use this platform to promote your YouTube videos, blog articles, and even your Instagram content. Infographics and longer images do well here in addition to promoted pins that can help your brand gain more traction.
3 – Instagram
Now that the visual appeal of Google Plus posts will be gone expect Instagram to attract even more attention as brands continue to attract a large following through Stories, live video, promoted posts, and appealing images and uploaded videos. If your network has been strong on attracting loyal circle followers through images then you will especially need to migrate them to this platform.
4 – YouTube
Just because the added bonus of cross promotion on Google Plus is ending does not mean that YouTube will lose its appeal or effectiveness as one of the top social networks today. If you have a brand channel then many of your followers may already subscribe to you there. Video will continue to grow and dominate the marketing and eCommerce industry — Cisco reports that online videos will make up more than 80% of all Internet traffic worldwide, and 85% in the United States by 2020.
5 – Twitter
Now that this social network has expanded its character limit to 280 characters more people have been using this as a tool to include more information on a particular topic, including informative blog posts and videos. Targeted hashtags for live chats have also attracted new followers, and following Twitter’s purge of spam accounts recently brands should start seeing more targeted and authentic followers.
6 – LinkedIn
Recently Microsoft has updated their groups on LinkedIn, which makes these easier to find, create, and join. Networking and publishing are the next important components of this business-centered platform, which continues to evolve and become a place where you can grow a larger network and create opportunities for new clients and customers.
As social media continues to be in a state of change due to privacy updates and technology it’s important to pay attention to where your community is flocking to and interacting the most. For example, if most of your current Google Plus connections are also following you on YouTube then it may be worth the effort to focus on this network more over the other top websites. Now is a great time to do some analysis of how well your brand is performing online and where your followers are coming from.