The main question that comes to mind when a Social Networking channel opens its doors to the business world is, “How will this benefit our company?”
Google+ has been eliciting the same response ever since they announced their Pages for Businesses in 2011– especially from companies with less than 50 employees. Small businesses are slowly coming around to the idea of Social Media as a key player in their marketing efforts, but have adopted more comfortably to popular channels like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
If your company considers Social Media a top priority, odds are you have signed up for a Google+ page for your business. Maybe you’ve filled out the profile with your company details and even added a few photos. But what’s next? Do you have anyone in your Circles? Have you posted any content? Do you feel as if sharing information on this social channel is a waste of time?
Before turning your back on Google+, lets go over how it compares to other social networks. We’ll provide insight on why this social channel could be useful if a unique approach is taken.
Let’s start by briefly discussing the other social networks and why they have proven to be useful tools for companies of all sizes.
Twitter is a valuable social channel to connect with other companies and individuals in your industry and beyond. It’s easy to use, offers a simple keyword search and organization of topics by hashtags, and is virtually universal across all industries. Key phrase: “Everyone’s doing it.”
Facebook, while probably more profitable for B2C environments, is a useful channel as well. Customers can “Like” their favorite brand, check in to a company’s location, share posts from the business with their friends, and keep up with news and contests regularly. It is the most popular and widely-used social channel, which is why it is a “must” for many businesses when building their Social Media marketing plan.
LinkedIn is thought of as the “smart choice” for most companies – especially B2B environments. Connecting with other businesses and growing your professional network are the two key benefits of using this channel.
Many 3rd party apps like HootSuite and TweetDeck are growing in popularity because of their ability to arrange your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds on one screen. Tools like this make the job of the Social Media manager much easier.
While several makers of these applications have yet to bring in Google+ as an integrated channel, others are only permitting it for their “Enterprise” or top-paying users. For example: HootSuite will allow you to connect your Google+ page to your list of streams to monitor, post, and run reports, but only if you are signed up as an Enterprise User, likely paying upwards of $1500 a month. Small businesses might balk at that cost, and then start to wonder if Google+ is a channel better suited for the “big guys” …
The final thought is this: Google+ is beneficial for businesses of all sizes.
The trick is to use this Social Networking channel in a unique way. That is, sharing information on Google+ that you do not have posted on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere else. Let your followers know that by adding your business to their circles, they will be exposed to prime content that cannot be found elsewhere. Once you’ve made this promise- stick to it!
Below is an infographic from Chris Brogan, an online Social Media expert and blogger who believes Google+ can help take your businesses goals to the next level.
Do you have questions about Google+ or anything related to Social Media? Still a skeptic about what this social channel can offer to your business? We want to hear from you!