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Why Google+ when everyone else is on Facebook?

Google+, the social media arm of the search engine giant, offers small businesses a social media resource–and more–like no other.

Jeremy Harrison


Google+, the social media arm of the search engine giant, offers small businesses a social media resource—and more—like no other. If your business isn’t using Google+, now’s the time to harness the power of the platform.

Why Google+ when everyone else is on Facebook?

Google Plus

Facebook has 1.5 billion users.

Google+ has more than 135 million users.

Facebook is clearly the hands-down winner, right? Wrong.

The number of people regularly using Facebook offers advantages, for sure. And we aren’t saying don’t use Facebook. We are saying that Google+ is worth adding to your internet marketing tool bag, however.

What’s in the Google+ bag of tricks?

Google has recently made a few changes to Google+, offering features that aren’t available on many of the other social media platforms. Social Media Today believes the Google+ “+1” feature—the equivalent to a “like” or “tweet”—provides stronger social credibility. Facebook and Twitter currently block Google’s access to their sites, but Google+ doesn’t. Essentially, a social share on Google+ means more to SEO than a social share on Facebook or Twitter.

Marketing Tech Blog encourages businesses to pause and consider the number of users on the platform, and its potential for reach. While less than Facebook or Twitter, at 1.5 billion and 218 million respectively, Google+’s active users tally over 135 million, with 60 percent of these users logging into the service daily. That number may grow quickly, as Google itself has over 500 million users.

According to an article by Linda Sherman, marketing consultant, published in Forbes, four primary reasons businesses should use the social media platform include:

  1. Trends show that early adopters gain more traction. Twitter is a good example of this strategy.
  2. The site’s users are, for now, primarily male. Businesses whose customers are mostly male should be on Google+, just like Pinterest favors a female customer profile.
  3. It’s great for B2B. Yes, everyone knows that LinkedIn is the go-to source for B2Bs; LinkedIn makes for a great job-searching resource, but it’s not ideal for interacting and marketing. Google+ is.
  4. The Hangouts feature is second-to-none. No other social media platform currently offers users an equivalent to Hangouts. Businesses can use the group-meeting feature to hold meetings or panel discussions, offer product updates, and more.

The local edge

Industry experts also believe Google+ holds unique potential for businesses dependent on local marketing. Google indexes Google+ Local pages in its search results. With an up-to-date page filled with relevant details about the business, active Circles users, and reviews helps local businesses rank high.

In fact, a study by SIM Partners, “How Your Competition is Beating You With Google+ Local Optimization,” shows how local businesses are driving their search rankings with Google+.

Here are a few of the strongest outcomes from the study that impact local businesses:

  • When searching for a local business, 59 percent of consumers turn to Google.
  • 50 percent of consumers using mobile to find a business are looking for a local result, while 61 percent of the consumers searching for a local result lead to a purchase.

The businesses that followed the Google+ marketing strategy set forth in the study saw dramatic results:

  • Local business rankings increased by 179 percent for the top seven local keyword phrase positions.      
  • Local business rankings for the top two positions increased by 399 percent.
  • Positioning for the third, fourth and fifth positions/keyword phrases rose by 97 percent.
  • After the study, businesses that didn’t rank for any of the top keyword phrases fell by 62 percent.

The results of this study—and recommendations by marketing experts—should cause businesses to take note of the power Google+ marketing holds for driving consumer attraction and increasing revenue.

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