Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why Marketers Need To Pay Attention To Google+

Google+ is a new kid on the block. It was just recently launched in a trial period where you could only partake if you were invited into the social scene. Recently, they've opened up the flood gates to everyone. Now, we've been through the whole social rigmarole time and time again. First it was MySpace, then it was Facebook, then it seemed like Twitter took over the world, and so on and so on. So why should we even begin to care about Google+? Will it just fade away like all the rest of the social sites do? Should I really invest time in getting to know how Google+ operates and what its purpose is? Or just make like a possum and play dead?

The answer is, you should definitely wake up and pay attention. Recently, I've had a lot of people who are dismayed and overexposed to social media ask me, "Why do we even care about this? Let's talk about more important topics!" Well, I guess if you aren't a marketer, the only reason for you to care is for personal gain and social interaction. However, if you are a marketer, with a keen eye, you see Google+ for what it really is. It is similar to a new country club that opened up recently, and is invitation only. Country clubs hold great pristine. If you belong, then you are with the elite, and they are extremely hard to get into it. Let's put all the social hierarchy aside, though, and concentrate on what Google+ means for marketing and business.

First, never underestimate the possible. Never be a skeptic if you're a marketer. If you feel like something won't work simply because it's been done, you're already fired. Anyone in marketing who's worth their weight in gold will tell you that you can take the same exact concept someone else has already used one hundred times over, tweak one tiny aspect of it, and suddenly you've struck gold with your concept. Even if it does pan out to be nothing, as most skeptics are currently speculating, what will it hurt you to sign up for an account and post your status? Next to nothing...just a few moments out of your everyday routine.

Second, right now it is so "hot", which makes it a prime environment for marketing research. If you ask a question on Google+ right now, versus Facebook, you'll receive way more interaction. Eventually it will get over-saturated, as most things do on the Internet, but for now, take advantage of the trend and get the data you need from real-time users.

Thirdly, it has a huge impact on SEO. While Google is philanthropic, they're not idiots. They know their livelihood relies on their search engine results and keeping the customers happy...thus, the entire reason for developing Google+. Some will argue that Google+ was developed simply to go head-to-head against Facebook in the social realm, but those on the inside argue that, while the social aspect is an added bonus, the Google+ "plus one" widget allows users to rank website pages based on useful content and relevancy. To put it simply, if your page has more "+1" rankings than other, you'll achieve higher search engine results rankings.

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