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Google Plus For Brands: A Point Of View
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Google Plus For Brands: A Point Of View


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A point of view on Google Plus for brands. It serves as a reference and guide on the features and functionalities available on the platform and how brands can leverage them.

A point of view on Google Plus for brands. It serves as a reference and guide on the features and functionalities available on the platform and how brands can leverage them.

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  • 3. GOOGLE+ | OVERVIEW  Google+launched in July, 2011  90MM users worldwide as of Dec, 2011   28MM US users (number 1 country)
  • 4. GOOGLE+ | OVERVIEW  49MM total visits, Dec 2011 (US)  18.9 MM unique visitors, Feb 2012 (US)
  • 5. GOOGLE+ | GENDER BREAKDOWN  17MM US users are males  11MM US users are females
  • 6. GOOGLE+ | AGE BREAKDOWN  45% of US users between ages 18-24  23% of US users between ages 25-34
  • 7. GOOGLE+: NOT JUST ANOTHER SOCIALNETWORK “Google+ is Google itself.“ Bradley Horowitz, VP Products, Google+ Twitter = Perspectives   Twitter is for real-time perspectives, news and information Facebook = People   Facebook is for friends, families, colleagues. In short, it is for people Google+ = Passions   Google+ enables you to pursue your shared interests with people you don’t know. In short it is for passions. Guy Kawasaki, Author What The Plus, 2012
  • 8. FACEBOOK vs. GOOGLE+ vs. TWITTER Facebook Google+ TwitterTwo-way connecting for users One-way connecting (no need One-way connecting to follow back a follower)Lists Circles ListsPost to Group or set of friends Posts to specific Circles and N/A followersPost to limited fans –for pages Post to specific Circle – for Direct Message Followers(based on location and pages (based on categories without following (for verifiedlanguage) such as Customers, VIPs) pages)Post visibility determined by Posts visible to any follower as Tweets visible to any followerEdgeRank well as public as well as publicPosts not indexed on search Post indexed on search engines Tweets not indexed on searchengines enginesPost Likes Post +1’s Favorite TweetComment Likes Comment +1’s N/AIn-line photos and videos In-line photos and videos N/AUsers can message brands Users can post to specific Followers can Tweet to brandsdirectly brandOne-on-one video chat Hangout-multi-person video N/A chat
  • 10. GOOGLE+ |BRAND PAGESGoogle+ profile photoCover Photo (can beseries of images orone single image likeFacebook)Users can +1 thepage, this is notthe same asadding the page toone of their circlesUsers must add thebrand to one of theircirclesUsers can see peoplefrom their circleswho have also circledthe brand
  • 11. GOOGLE+ BRAND PAGES |ABOUT SECTION  About section has the following   Tagline   Introduction   Contact Info   Website
  • 12. GOOGLE+ |FEATURES  Circles(a friend/follower management service)  Hangouts (a video chat service)  Stream (a newsfeed)  Sparks (similar to Google Alerts)  Trends (similar to Twitter’s trending topics)  What’s Hot (a recommendation engine)  Games and Photos  Google+ Ripples  Search Plus Your World
  • 13. GOOGLE+ |CIRCLES  Users can add people they know or don’t know and brands they want to follow into different circles  It is based on the user’s interest graph or passions
  • 14. GOOGLE+ |CIRCLES  Circlesallow users to distribute, curate and receive content of specific interest Alex loves to write about Marie loves to curate food food (e.g. blogger) related information Brad loves to food related information reads
  • 15. SEARCHING BY INTERESTS TO ADD TO A CIRCLE   New and existing users can discover brand pages that match their interest when searching for relevant keywords   e.g. Entertainment, Electronics, Fashion, FoodIMPLICATIONS  Brand pages must be optimized for Google+ search for relevant keywords in the About section
  • 16. GOOGLE+ CIRCLES FOR BRANDS  Brands cannot circle users unless they have been first circled by the user  Once circled, brands can segment users in circles such as “Customers, VIPs”, based on the user’s interest and influenceIMPLICATIONS  Circles provide brands an opportunity to connect and offer relevant content/offers to specific consumer segments  Brands should leverage circles for market research by allowing select users access to product development
  • 17. GOOGLE+ |CADBURY UK RAN A MINI PROMOTION TO IDENTIFY BRAND LOYALISTS  Cadbury UK asked users to comment on the post on why the users thought they should be part of the “Tasters” circle  Select commenters were added to the “Tasters” circle  “Tasters” circle gives users access to   insider’s view on the brand   exclusive information  It fosters a sense of exclusivity and promotes advocacy
  • 18. GOOGLE+ |HANGOUTS  Hangouts is a unique feature; it allows up to 9 people to have a video chat simultaneously  Anyone on Google+ can start a hangout either with specific individuals in their circles or make it public for anyone outside their circle to join
  • 19. GOOGLE+ HANGOUTS FOR BRANDS  Brands can also start hangouts with users who have added them to their circles  Hangouts are for engagement and not reach  Reach beyond the Hangout comes from subsequent content distribution and influencer sharing as a result of a quality Hangout  Hangouts can be saved, and uploaded to YouTube where it can serve as a knowledge baseIMPLICATIONS  Hangouts can provide insight on how Google+ users wish to engage with the brand  Brands should use hangouts to showcase new products to specific followers such as advocates, giving them inside access  Hangouts also offer an excellent customer service opportunity that brands can leverage
  • 20. GOOGLE+ |STREAM (NEWS FEED)  Once users have circled a brand they will see the posts from the brand in their stream   Posts reach all followers, similar to Twitter  However, users can control what they see in their stream and how many posts they see from the brands in their circlesIMPLICATIONS  Brands can publish posts that will reach all its followers, unless the followers have selected to receive most, fewer or no updates  Brands can still test day of week and time of day for most engagement on the post
  • 21. GOOGLE+ SPARKS GATHERS RECENT POSTS FROM ACROSS THE WEB   Sparks is another search feature that allows Google+ users to search from recent posts around the web   Think of it as Google Alerts, but in this case it is gathering results instantly from the webIMPLICATIONS  Brands should use this feature as another way to monitor content pushed out on the web  It can also be leveraged to assess what consumers are currently posting about the brand and then create content around it
  • 22. TRENDING ON GOOGLE+ AND WHAT’S HOT FEATURES ALLOWS USERS TO FIND POPULAR CONVERSATIONS   Trending on Google+ appears on the right side of the stream   It includes topics and hashtags that are popular among Google+ users   It allows brands to monitor what conversations are taking place and create copy/content to participateIMPLICATIONS  Brands should try to keep the content relevant and timely, when appropriate based on trending topics  Brands should create hashtags that they want to generate awareness about, which could become trending as it gets popular  Brands should also have Google+ on their website and product detail pages; if shared by multiple users on the same day could push it to trending on Google+
  • 23. WHAT’S HOT ON GOOGLE+  This feature allows users to see which posts are popular on Google+ in their stream   Users can also access “Explore” tab to see “What’s Hot”  Brand posts can also be on “What’s Hot”, which is determined by shares, +1s and comments   Unique content, preferably not easily available on other social platforms can also push brands into “What’s Hot”IMPLICATIONS  Brands should focus on creating content that people want to share with their circles  Brands can keep track of “What’s Hot” to inform content creation for future posts
  • 24. GAMES ON GOOGLE+  Users can play games on Google+ as on Facebook  However, no game updates are posted in user’s streams  Brands could partner for in-game integration
  • 25. PHOTOS ON GOOGLE+  Google+ has photo editing feature called Creative Kit   Editing allows users to add graphics and changes color of the photos  Google+ also has a meme- generator   A "meme" is a virally- transmitted cultural symbol or social idea*  Brands can edit images and*See Appendix for example repurpose content  Brands can also engage followers by asking them to create versions and posting the photosIMPLICATIONS  Brands can utilize these photo features to engage fans   By inviting fans to submit their creative images   Best photo submitted maybe highlighted in a post   Followers could also be asked to submit captions for memes for different photos
  • 26. GOOGLE+ |RIPPLES  Ripples is a visualization that charts the chain reaction that occurs when content is shared on Google+  It follows the trajectory of a public post as it is shared from person to person—literally how the post ripples outwards for the user who shared it (only public shares are shown)  It also shows influencers (people whose re-shared post was shared by othersIMPLICATIONS  Brands can monitor which of the followers have influence – those who cause their followers to take action i.e. share it further
  • 27. GOOGLE + |SEARCH PLUS YOUR WORLD  Whena user is logged in to Google Account search results will now include:   Listings from the web as before   Listings from the web impacted because of user’s personal behavior and because of user’s social connections   Public Google+ posts, photos or Google Picasa photos (all of which are also listings from the web)   Private or “Limited” Google+ posts, photos or Google Picasa photos shared with the user
  • 28. GOOGLE + |SEARCH PLUS YOUR WORLD  Listing from web because of user’s social connections and personal behavior   Search results show user’s social activity i.e. +1’ing a brand on Google (similar to “liking” a brand on Facebook”) Result shows social connections who have +1’d the brand, in this case user hasn’t +1’d the brand Result shows social connections who have +1’d the brand, in this case user has also +1’d the brand
  • 29. GOOGLE+ |SEARCH PLUS YOUR WORLD  Google is integrating Google+ posts and pages into search results to make search more social   Similar to Bing integrating Facebook likes in search results  Based on the users’ circles Google is personalizing results   E.g. search for cars can include   People and Pages on right hand   Public posts with the keyword by social connections in the search results
  • 30. GOOGLE+ |SEARCH PLUS YOUR WORLD  In terms of SEO, pages on Google+ are given prime real estate in the search results under People and Pages section  This works even when users are not signed into Google accounts  It is a significant way to drive awareness for brands   Pages can show up in result based on keyword matches from About section or from the posts Keyword in the About section of Google+ page Keyword used by the brand in the post on Google+IMPLICATIONS  Brands cannot ignore the potential placement for relevant keywords in Google search results   These are earned impressions drive awareness and likely more followers on Google+
  • 31. GOOGLE+ |SEARCH PLUS YOUR WORLD  Recent Google+ posts by page are given more weight  Brands not circled by the user can benefit from interactions by his/her social connections  For keywords that the brand’s website has not been optimized Google+ offers an opportunity to organically rank Post shared by user’s social connection that  Similarly, post by the brand circled by the included the search terms (note: brand has user shows up for the search terms not been circled by this user) The brand otherwise doesn’t show up in  The brand otherwise doesn’t show up in organic results for those search terms organic results for those search terms
  • 32. GOOGLE+ |SEARCH PLUS YOUR WORLD  Google has also started indexing comments by the users who are following brands   This could also extends to users’ social connections later, which implies comments could influence users’ intent when searching Above, the comment on a brand post by the user shows up for a search
  • 33. GOOGLE+ |SEARCH PLUS YOUR WORLD  When users are logged in they will also be able to see their friends who have +1’d the brand on Google+   If none of their friends have +1’d the brand they will still see an aggregate number of those people who have   This implies social stamp of approval, which could increase CTRs   Google sees these social signals as more authoritative and reliable   In the long term, +1’s may influence rankings along side SEO
  • 34. GOOGLE+ |SEARCH PLUS YOUR WORLD   +1s maybe used in SEM to make ads more social   Higher the +1s more likely user will trust the brand as peer approved   User’s social connection also show up in the ads if they have +1’d them   When users +1 ads or search results they are aggregated on the brand’s Google+ pageUser can see the number User’s social connectionof people who have +1’d who have +1’d the adthe ad +1’ing on the ad is appear within the ad immediately reflected on Google+ page of the brand
  • 35. GOOGLE+ IMPACT ON E-COMMERCE  An article in makes an interesting case:  E-commerce companies are betting on the success of fewer social networks and more prominently displaying the social integration  Social signals are a much better indicator of product popularity  +1 button could help deliver more personalized recommendation after the click  Google+ is gaining traction among retailers because there is a clear incentive to use it - the promise of rankings in personalized search   Whilst, it remains to be seen what that promise that really holds, most companies know the value of rankings and so realize that clicking the +1 button is a high importance event
  • 36. GOOGLE+ CAN CREATE A MORE PERSONALIZED AND RELEVANT EXPERIENCE FOR E-COMMERCE LEADING TO SEAMLESS POINT-TO-PURCHASE  In this example having publicly +1’ed the product in the Google search results the user maybe shown more relevant ads related to the product  The user after-the-click (+1 action) +1 activity in Google search visits the retailer’s site maybe delivered results can personalize a more personalized experience experience on the site after-   +1’ing shows intent, an e-Commerce site can the-click immediately serve up offers and provide easier point to purchase   Site could also serve similar product to the one user has shown interest in after-the-click   Moreover, after transaction is completed, user could be prompted to immediately share the experience on Google+, boosting the SEO for the site   Returning visitors could be asked to rate the product and post-purchase experience, also shared on Google+   These reviews and ratings not only can increase organic ranking but also personalize the shopping experience for those in the user’s Google+ circles   The friends in the circle even if inactive on Google+ will still see personalized results for similar searches so long as the user is active
  • 37. GOOGLE+ DIRECT CONNECT  Google+Direct Connect lets users quickly navigate to a Google+ page (and even add that page to circles) when using Google Search
  • 38. WHAT’S NEXT WITH GOOGLE+  Userswill soon be able to comment on third party sites using their Google+ accounts   This is similar to Facebook Connect  Google+ Share button, similar to Facebook’s Share Button has been launched  Sites should implement the “Share” CTA  Google+ API is limited but improving   Expect brands and influencer to utilize this to create apps   Cadbury UK’s app allows users to log in with Google+ and use their photos from their profile to create London 2012 Olympic avatars
  • 39. METRICS  Demographics (Page Level)   Follower count   Geolocation of followers   Gender breakdown  Engagement (Post level)   Number of +1s, shares and comments   Number of click-throughs on links in the post   Number of +mentions  Other Metrics   Referral traffic from Google+   Increase in visits to site   Higher conversion after-the-click (+1)   Better SERPs (the more the people +1 the more the search engine should account as authority and relevance)
  • 40. AVAILABLE GOOGLE+ ANALYTIC TOOLS  In addition to Vitrue, Involver, Buddy Media, Context Optional, Hearsay Social and Hootsuite that have Google+ integrated in their Social Relationship Management tools these are few others:  Circle Count  Social Statistics  Allmyplus  PlusClout (to find influencers on Google+)
  • 41. BRANDS ON GOOGLE PLUS  List of brands on Google+ (as of Apr 2012) Brand Number of times Number of times +1’d circled Cadbury UK 939249 +941171 Red Bull 641157 +643288 H&M 587133 +589706 Starbucks 533910 +535585 Coca Cola 503595 +505345 Pepsi 503420 +506196 Samsung USA 469415 +470800 Burberry 456643 +458347 Red Bull 641157 +643288 Sony 404507 +406202 Intel 372188 +373773
  • 42. NEXT STEPS  To set up a Google+ brand page, a Google account is necessary  Decide content for About section, optimize tagline and introduction for SEO  Utilize Direct Connect to ensure users can follow the page from search results  Design the cover photos   Google+ allows animated .gifs
  • 43. NEXT STEPS CONT’D  Create content calendar and posting strategy  Promote the Google+ Account on owned media such as other social media platforms and website  Actively engage with the community, comment and respond on interesting posts  Use photos as way to engage consumers; Google+ photo editing capabilities is more advanced than any other social network   Use the meme-izing feature and filters to create engaging and original photo content   Post videos, Google will rank videos higher in SEO  Add the Google+ social plugin on the website  Implement +1 button on individual product pages
  • 44. APPENDIX
  • 46. HASHTAGS LIKE ON TWITTER MAKES CONTENT SEARCHABLE  Users can search posts by hahtags   Google+ will auto-complete the hashtag based on keyword users type in   Hashtags are another way to drive awareness and trend on Google+, similar to Twitter
  • 47. REFERENCESGuy Kawasaki’s Book What The Plus is Google Plus? (really), getting_into_the_game_social_gaming_in_the_google.php