Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Social Media and your business–Part 6

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Social Media and your business – Part 1
Social Media and your business – Part 2
Social Media and your business – Part 3
Social Media and your business – Part 4
Social Media and your business – Part 5
I’ve now covered off important established social media services like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Linkedin but there is one more service which is now just starting to emerge that I believe you need to keep an eye and perhaps even have a dabble in. When you think about everything that I’ve spoken about in previous posts which major Internet service business haven’t I yet mentioned? In short, Google.

Google has recently come to understand the importance of social and as such now has its own social network called Google Plus and I believe this is the real dark horse of the social media set currently.
At the moment Google Plus is pretty much populated with technical types, it lacks the general appeal of something like Facebook and the business acceptance of Linkedin. However, that should be no reason to rule it out of your strategy. Google has very deep pockets and a wide ecosystem of products it can incorporate with Google Plus, and this is exactly what it is doing.
Google Plus allows you to post updates and ‘circle’ friends like most other social networks but it includes things like the ability to create communities, events and and host Google hangouts (video meetings). Another very important aspect of Google Plus is that it looks great! If you haven’t already have a look at the Google Plus app for iOS and you will see what I mean. Making it ‘nice’ indicates to me that Google understands the audience it is targeting with this service.
So what relevance is that to your business? Well to my mind if you spend your time with Google properties you will generally get rewarded with higher results in Google search. No hard evidence on this fact but it makes sense you think about it. This is one of the reasons that I moved my blog here to Blogger.
The tipping point for Google Plus will come when the ‘Facebook-crowd’ discovers it and stars piling in. As yet I have not seen that happen, however I have seen a a growth in the number of people using the service, although many don’t find it yet as valuable as Facebook. The few people that I know who used it regularly certainly sings its praises. A good example to look at for active content is probably that of Jeff Jarvis (of What Would Google Do fame):
https://plus.google.com/+JeffJarvis/posts
You can of course look up my profile as well at:
https://plus.google.com/111274076974722661501
(I am not special enough to get a +Name for my profile, alas).
As with most other social media properties I recommend you sign up and have a look at what is on offer and see whether it may have business benefit. There is certainly nothing to be lost by using Google Plus and pushing your content through there. I have had many great conversations around blog posts inside Google Plus and for that it works really well. The side benefit I believe is better Google search ranking, but again that is just my belief.
In the next part of the series I’ll start diving into some specific strategies and recommendations for your business when it comes to social media.
Social Media in your business – Part 7
If you need some help with your social media strategy or would like me to speak about social media at your business or association please don’t hesitate to contact me (director@ciaops.com).