Google + has many people wondering if there is a reason to use it over Facebook or Twitter. There is still a lot of room to grow for Google + but overall it is a great place to share things with others who are interested in similar things. Since Google + is a combination of Twitter and Facebook some marketers may be wondering if they would rather have two separate marketing channels or two in one, and which option reaches more people. Some marketers may choose to double their advertising efforts. Facebook isn’t probably going to disappear in the immediate future, but at the same time Google + may live up to its potential and marketers will flock there while maintaining what they already have going on with Facebook.
With the feature called “Circles,” which are basically groups of friends that you arrange yourself, you can easily group which of your friends would see certain things you share. No one can see which circle you put them in, but you can share something to everyone which includes those who have added you to their circles but you haven’t necessarily added to yours. You don’t need to be accepted as a friend first to share. This could allow people to follow brands in a more personalized way than they are used to on Facebook and Twitter because they have the option to remove it from their streams or interact when they want to. For marketers it could be tricky to reach all of the people they want all of the time, but it still lets you target your audience. Terence Rooke of Reprise Media believes interest-targeting will end up being a strong point for Google + with keyword targeting and interest-based categories especially strategizing early on by of reaching customers whose “recently added” interests match your target market.
Google wants this new social networking site to be accounts only for people in the beginning as they are in the process of designing a special feature for businesses, something marketers will want to look out for. With that being said, Google + would be a good place to advertise once it becomes popular. “Sparks” can eventually be used to find new information and then talk about how that news affects customers since this feature automatically brings things to your attention based on your interests.
There are steps marketers can take to try and figure out if Google +is right for them. Jay Miller of Exact Target recommends that people build their own personal networks through their own Google + account and start to think about how Google + can fit into their social media strategy. That way when business pages are finally created they will be familiar with the site and know if their business should sign up or not. David All for HuffingtonPost.com advises marketers to add a “Plus 1” button to your website and apply to try to be a part of the Google Plus for businesses pilot program. He also suggests getting people from your business to create personal Google + accounts to get comfortable with the site as well as get your brand’s name out there.
Whether Facebook remains the strongest force in social media or Google + becomes the popular new thing, both sites will continue to compete to provide a solid foundation for marketers to reach customers.
Kristina Lopienski is a junior at Goshen College where she is studying Business. Since June 2011 she has been and currently is an intern for Freshlime. She has been using social media marketing working on projects for several clients that range from a popular cafe in Downtown Chicago to a large Agricultural Irrigation Sales & Service company. Kristina’s work has included social media strategy and management, research, email marketing, website design, and more.