After all social media is meant to help recreate that word of mouth avocation – friends and family endorsing and recommending companies and brands – whether the local builder to which brand of hotel to stay inSo with so many social networks (which I tend to call ‘ponds to fish in – ie. You always go fishing in the right pond – think target audience and size) did google really need to create another one? Well lets find out what google plus is all about and take a swim in their pond for a bit
Recent reports have indicated that there are now over 90 million users of Google+, which shows that despite only having just over 10% of the users that Facebook enjoys, it is still a platform we should all be aware of.So what is google plus and what makes it different?
People argue that google plus is most similar to Facebook with only one of two real differences – mainly hangouts (hangouts extras is great) and circle of friendsGoogle+ allows businesses to create pages and develop relationships with prospects and customers on multiple levels.Individuals can add a brand to a specific Google+ Circle, sharea Google+ page with their network, and interact with the content posted by that company.For instance, users can +1 (or in other words, endorse) the updates a company publishes, leavecomments, upload photos, and tag the brand in them.An interesting aspect of this platform is that its Hangouts feature enables companies to engage with fans, prospects, and customers throughvideo conference calls.Video chat (hangouts) is definitely the element that distinguishes Google+ from other existing social networks.Pages can’t add people to circles unless they have added or mentioned the Page firstThe default setting for everything on your Page is publicGoogle+ Pages will automatically unfollow anyone who unfollows themPages can’t +1 other Pages or content on the webPages can’t mention people unless they are connected to the brandPages can’t share to extended circlesPages don’t receive notifications via email, the Google bar or texSo what do they have right and what could be improved
Coop travel for example – I found what I think was the official page but also found around 5 others!Ripples bascially show you and anyone else that wants to take a look how far the share is travelling, in what language and whereI know you are probably thinking ‘this all sounds great but – how many people are using this new social media network and how much extra time will we have to spend updating this one alongside the others we useWell lets have a look at the user breakdown before sharing with you later what you should perhaps be using google plus for
Out of this data how does the UK data break down in to users?
So based on these figures and target audience you will probably be thinking – this pond isn’t a great pond to go fishing in - well before we consider this lets have a look at an example by British Airways
This screen shot which is about a week old says 87k in their circles – they now have over 150k so clearly they are really pushing their google plus hard Clever branding – images over 5 slides – KLM have done this also – info about what this page is forBA digital innovation manager Richard Bowden said it regards Google+ as a creative test bed for content co-creation. “Google+’s Circles and Hangouts are features that lend themselves well to co-creation, more so than Facebook, which is a very different platform and should be treated as so,” he said.
British airways are really getting followers on board – asking them what to call a circle for testing and then asking them if they want to joinBut are these followers their target audience does it matter? Hold that thought for a few minutes! – with google plus there are no real stats like Facebook Insight – so lets have a quick look at their Facebook page to see
As you can see this facebook page has just over 230k people liking their page – not actually that far off their google plus page and based on their growth numbers it will be very soon. As you can see though their engagement is very different to their google plus page – this page is more about sharing information and very much around the olympics where their google plus page is more about co content which is just as their digital innovation manager described So based on these figures how much time are people spending on google plus compared to the other networks? Lets take a look – this will help you form another indicator as to whether the google plus pond is the right one to go fishing in!
Facebook is boisterous in its figures and totally dominates the skyline of social media time frames – nearly 7 hours a month v 3 minutes! Not to mention comparing it to the other networks too. So if Google plus is seen to be too similar to Facebook and that’s where by August its expected 1 Billion people are hanging out for nearly one work day a month why would you want to look at Google Plus as somewhere to engage and use more resources up in your already no doubt busy social media marketing day! Googleplus is trying its upmost to get people signed up to google plus – intetreatingprvicy policies by linking their gmail and youtube all in with google plus – they are heavily advertising and ultimately having invested $585 million and 500 staff that is a huge investmentWell here is where it gets interesting…..lets look at something else Google has launched recently and something that may change your view of why you might want to consider using Google plus – Google search plus your world
Search plus your worldbascially provides you results based on your conntections – ie word of mouth via friends etcLooking past the obvious reasons of promoting Google+ and their rivalries with Facebook and Twitter, this update is more about Google improving the relevancy of results via a more personalised search experience.There was an interesting study by Nielsen a couple of years ago, and this stated that 42% of people trust search engine results, while a huge 90% trust recommendations from people they know.In my opinion that is the biggest threat social media/search brings to Google, the ability to provide personal recommendations. So it's clear that this is something they have to get better at if they want to retain such a dominant market share in the long-term.So as you will see from my screen shot these are the sorts of results you get now – based on friends or pages with lots of friends in circlesOnce I am signed out I get totally different results – with Google encouraging people at every opp to have a google account – its only going to increase search engine optimisation result changes – you should get an account – stray ahead of the game even though your target market might not quite be on google plus you need to start getting people to circle you on google plus – lets look at another case study to help demonstrate this
This is Mr & Mrs Smiths Google plus Page – I want to point out some interesting information and considered optimised by looking atMr & Mrs Smith – is seen as the SEO titleThe Boutuque – is the meta descriptionIntro – keywords and don’t forget Recommended links – these are all good things to have in Google’s eyes and you can potentially win brownie pointsits really important to understand that although not the most inspiring social network right now clearly its having an impact on search engine results – so will google plus succeed?
invested $585 million and 500 staff that is a huge investmentAlthough the figures look pretty small now they are already having a large impact on search engine results so….if you are thinking about Google plus think about
The only suggestion I would make is I think the inevitable questions people are going to ask include:-How successful you believe it is likely to beWhat impact it will have on other social media platform - how will it change the social media landscapeHow is it likely to fit into the mix of the social media platforms currently being used by businesses?If you can fuse these future thoughts into the content and your delivery, I think it will go down very well
Should we be using google plus for business
Google Plus – Its Likely Ramifications On Social MediaLynsey SwealesSocial-B@lynseysweales
Quote“We want to help you make the same kindsof lasting connections with your customersonline the way you can in real life,”Dennis Troper, Product ManagementDirector, Google+ Pages
What is Google Plus? Social network owned & set up by Google Launched in June 2011 Business pages launched in November 2011 90M users as of December 2011 Est. to be adding 625k new members a day 400M users projected by Dec 2012
What is Googleplus all about?Instant chat Photos Think: clients, staff, Conferencing, seminars +1 recommendations appear on your website, display ads, search ads, Google search results and now, your Google+ Page.
What Googleplus has right & what needs to be improved Brand pages Hangout with Extras Ripples – who is sharing Branded pages cannot be named Branded pages are not certified Analytics Usage& engagement – (will look at later)
Who is hanging out on Googleplus?Source – website monitoring – 9/2/12 data
Who is hanging out on Googleplus? Male Female20% arestudents!
Why Google Plus is likely to succeed Many social networks have failed but Google has a lot of money & clear intent to direct it towards being more social Trends indicate that businesses will be allocating a significantly increased amount of time and resources to social media in 2012 Google controls much of the online distribution of information through its organic search results as well as across the Android mobile platform (47% market share) and Chrome browser (19% market share) Google has a unique advantage in presenting the Google Plus platform in familiar contexts by leveraging existing services with audiences of millions (Youtube etc)
Reasons to be on Google Plus It is not just about your target audience….. ….however the more in your circles get & the more they share the better Its about personal search results within Google search Its about using Google Plus to ensure your brand is where it should be in search results
Googleplus – Its likely ramifications on social mediaLynsey SwealesSocial-B@lynseysweales