Many of the small business owners I work with are suffering from social media fatigue. The past few years have been a whirlwind of new technology that has left many of us wondering; “is all of this social media really worth while for marketing my business?”
The recent introduction of Google+ for business into this mix has many of us wondering if there is a good business reason to add yet another platform to their already full social media plates.
Before you toss in the towel and decide not to jump on this particular bandwagon, consider the reasons outlined below that highlight why a Google+ page for your business may be the best social media investment you make in 2012.
1. It Helps You Hit Your Target
Since the internet became something available for everyday people to use, businesses and advertisers have looked for ways to target content, communications, and relevant messages to specific audiences. The dream of being able to customize customer communications like offering a coupon for diapers to a new mom while highlighting snow blower sales only to homeowners in New England has had limited success.
The introduction of social media and the use of targeted ad spaces like those available on Facebook and LinkedIn offered a new way to target paid advertising, but until Google+ came along, the ability to easily target content to specific audiences has been out of reach for most small businesses. Being able to assign followers to Circles and use those Circles to provide tailored messages to specific users are the most powerful differences Google+ offers to business owners.
2. It Gives New Meaning to +1
For many people, +1 is something you would find on a formal invitation indicating that you are free to invite another person to the event. The Google +1 button is like being able to invite everyone you know to visit your world by allowing you to tag content you like, share content with specific Google+ Circles, and offer recommendations that show up in Google search results.
Although the +1 button has been compared to both the Facebook “Like” and “Share” functions, it is more like a combination of the two that is linked to everything Google you already use. Add the ability to share +1’s with only specific groups through the use of Google+ Circles and you can begin to see why Google+ for business will be a must have in 2012.
3. It is Simple to Use.
One of the things that differentiated Google when it was the new search engine on the block was the simplicity of its interface. The winning combination of functionality and white space is the trademark of all things Google and Google+ is no exception. By creating a screen that is uncluttered and limited in how much information it presents, Google+ simplifies the social media experience. .
4. It is Completely Integrated with Google.
If you only need one reason to invest in Google+ for your business in 2012, this is the one. Unlike the other social media platforms, Google+ comes completely integrated with all things Google. This means that the tools you may already be using in your business like Google Analytics, Google Places, Google Maps, etc. are already “in-house”. And don’t forget Google Search, which has surpassed the 1 billion unique users per month mark, and the power of Google+ for business speaks for itself. From using circles to let followers self-select which content they want to receive to leveraging Google+ Hangouts as sales funnels, Google+ can bring value to your business right out of the gate and they are just getting started.
If you’re using Google+ for your business, I’d love to hear your experience. Let me know, and feel free to share your Google + page here.
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