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What’s good about Google Plus?

Many people view Google+ as Google’s failed attempt to compete with Facebook and this makes them dismissive about the opportunity it presents. But this is not the best way to think about it. In reality, Google+ doesn’t need to win the social media wars, to be a social network worth your time. Let me give you a few reasons to consider building a following on Google’s social platform.

Google+ is no Facebook, but it’s no ghost town eitherIs Google Plus a ghost town? Nope.

Everybody is on Facebook, there’s almost nobody on Google+, right? Pretty much so but the “almost” part is quite important. The fact that not everybody is on Google+ creates a situation which might be very beneficial for people resourceful enought to take advantage of it. Google+ has hundreds of millions of daily active users, so there surely is an audience there as long as you put in the effort to reach it. And in some cases it might be easier or more efficient to do so on Google+ than on some other social networks. And the number of daily active users is constantly climbing as hundreds of thousands of users are singing up every day. There might be less users there compared to Facebook, but there is less competition as well. So it makes a lot of sense to add this channel to your social media strategy. Keep in mind that unlike Facebook where the majority of users are female, with Google+ it’s the opposite and the users are predominatly male. So especially if your target audience is male, Google+ is a great channel to reach them through.

Let’s look an example of success on Google+ and more specifically the band Coldplay. This is a band that has a lot of followers and fans on a number of channels. They have more than 30 million people liking them on Facebook and more than 13 million followers on Twitter. This is impressive, but things can always be better. That’s why the band has also started a Google+ Page which has almost 7 million followers now. This is comparable to about 20% on their fans on Facebook and 50% on their followers on Twitter. So there is an audiance on Google+ that can be reached and that can allow you to reach additional people. Since not everybody puts an effort into Google Plus, Coldplay have managed to become one of the most prominant music artists on the platform. Despite the fact that many pop artists have more fans on Facebook than Coldplay, the band started putting effort in Goolge Plus and now are ahead even of household names like Lady Gaga, Shakira and Rihana who are doing better than them on other platforms. The conclusion here is that the earlier you start building your presence on a particular platform or in a particular niche, the higher your chances to dominate it will be.

Coldplay live - a photo the band shared on Google Plus

A photo the band Coldplay shared on Google+

Additionally, it might be easier for you to reach your fans on Google+ than on Facebook, because of the difference of popularity of the two. Facebook is like a crowded club where everybody has to shout and sometimes the huge number of people there might be a hindrance to communication and to reaching as many as you’d like. At the same time, Google+ provides less distraction  and noise – despite the fact that the number of people is lower, the conversations are deeper and it’s more likely for communication to be successful. You can be reaching your target audience while your competitors are watching from the sideline thinking that Google+ is a failed attempt at a social network.

Being active on Google+ can boost your SEO

1. Your website will rank better

Many people never think about this, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Everybody knows that having people share, comment and like your content on social networks boosts your search ranking. So many of us assume that Facebook is the most important social network for that purpose since it’s the largest and most popular one. But those people forget that Google cares about their own products more than about the products of their competition. It’s natural even if it is not fair. So the most effective social network to provide the so called social proof for the relevance of your website is Google’s own one. So being active on Google+ can be very helpful for your website’s SEO. And everybody knows how beneficial it is for a website to climb those pesky SERPs, right?

2. Your website can look better in search results

Google Authorship in Search Results makes people more likely to click

Add your face to the search results – we’ll trust you more.

But Google+ can help you with getting more search traffic in another way as well. If you are running a blog or a webiste with original content, you could also leverage Google Authorship (if you don’t have your own website, you should get one). Using this functionality will allow you to have your image placed next to the search result as the author. Having a visual element like that would help you stand out and get more clicks which would mean more traffic from Google. All it takes is registering your Google+ profile as the author and linking it with your website. And you can see the visual differnce it makes for yourself. So neglect this social network at your own peril.

3. Your Google+ posts can rank on Google on their own

Nobody knows more about search than Google. So it’s a no-brainer to guess that Google’s own social network will be perfectly optimized for search. One of the nicest perks of this is the fact that each post gets its own unique permalink. This means that every post you make with your Google+ Page or Profile has the potential to rank in search results. And since we know Google likes their own products, sometimes this can help you rank for keywords that you would not be able to rank for with your own website. So this is a great benefit and can be taken advantage of even if you don’t have your own website (which you should).

Use the tools it provides

Google+ could provide you with useful tools

Google+ could actually be useful.

Google+ is not your typical social network. One of the reasons for that is that it provides some unique functionalities and you can take advantage of them while reaching your audience on this platform.  The two prime examples are Hangouts and Circles.

Hangouts allows you to engage with your audience in a much deeper and more interactive way. If it makes sense for your activities, make sure that you use this tool. If streaming live events or chatting via video makes sense to you and your audience, why not do it on Google+. It might be a useful means of communication and interaction with your fans and it will surely boost your community and its engagement on the platform.

Circles on the other hand allows you to group people you interact with together based whatever principle you see fit. It will allow you to target specific posts at specific segments of your audience. This can make the content and communication you put out very targeted, personal and specific. And all this makes for a very effective message. So if it makes sense for your strategy, try to use this feature to it’s full potential.

Put yourself in a competitive position for the future

Anybody that has ever built a community online will surely tell you that these type of activities need time. So your social media strategy should be aimed not only at the present, but at the future as well. And the current trends are in favor of Google+. Let’s look at the numbers. Google+ is one of the fastest growing social networks outperformed in this metric only by Twitter. And as the social network continues to grow, it is bound to become more and more relevant. And the people that have started building their presence there early on, will have a tremendous advantage over those that have realized the potential of the platform later. The earlier you start, the higher your chance would be to be the biggest influencer in your particular niche for the platform.

Spcial Media Users And Growth Trends

Source: SEJ

But the current trend is not the biggest argument that has convinced me that Google+ will only become more and more relevant as time goes on. It’s the fact that Google are really dedicated to making it work. And Google are a company that have already shown that if they put their collective mind into something, they get it. Besides their core business of Search, Google have managaged to rock all kinds of things ranging from Email and Maps to the huge success in the mobile sector with Android. And now they’ve decided to put all of their resources behind the success of Google+, so it’s very likely that they are going to achieve at least some level of success. Even if people are annoyed when the only way to comment on YouTube is through your Google+ profile, Google are simply going to push on and get the job done. This fact alone makes their social network a great bet for the long run. The only real question is if you going to tag along for the ride and grow with them. I suggest you do.

You could earn money just as easily

You know that here at Franktrax we are all about monetization. Most of the time we are monetizing Facebook, but we all know that Facebook’s reach is declining, so it makes a lot of sense to us that people would diversify and look for other channels to drive traffic from. A lot of the things that people have learned to do very well on Facebook, could easily work on Google+ as well. It doesn’t really matter if you are are working for a business or you are an influencer with a following you hope to earn money from – if you can do it on Facebook, you can do it on Google+ as well. And we will back you up either way and give you the best way to monetize your reach. So if you are an admin of ours already, our adivce would be “Start a Google+ Page as well” and if you aren’t, do the same and then register with us. Makes sense, right?

So what is your experience with Google+? Do you feel the engagement you get there is worth your time and effort?

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