by Elaine Fogel

Have You Been Using Google+ Lately?

Google Plus cartoonIt seems that Google+ has mixed reviews. According to its own statistics, 500 million people have created Google Plus accounts, but only 135 million are actively posting to Google Plus pages.

Within my own circles, I’ve noticed that the only ones posting regularly are marketing experts who embrace social media fully. The others, not so much.

An article in the Business Insider says, “GlobalWebIndex’s latest figures show that while Google Plus is the second-most popular social networking service after Facebook, Twitter is actually growing at a slightly faster clip, increasing from 206 million users at the end of June last year to about 297 million today, a rate of about 44%.

So, what can we make of Google+

In a recent blog post, “How Google+ Offers More Value than Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to Small Businesses,” Becky W. claims that there are three main advantages for small businesses to use Google+ pages.

1.  Posts appear in search engine

“Whoever adds you in their circles, and search[es] for something in Google Search, they’ll be presented with the posts you’ve shared on Google+, provided the posts you’ve made match their search query.”

2.  +1s recommend the web pages

“If a user coming from search results +1’s a web page on your small business website, that web page will be recommended to the people added in his/her circles.”

3.  Google+ is easy and less competitive

“Google+ is easy to operate, as it’s integrated with Gmail, the most widely used e-mail service in the world… Currently, Google+ is less competitive compared to Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, so small business owners have a good chance to establish a presence, free of monetary charge, before the community grows.”

I post to my Google+ page through HootSuite, an easy social media platform that enables me to post to all my social media sites and groups simultaneously. Yet, the least active engagement seems to come from Google+.

Now, admittedly, I don’t have a large number of people in my circles like I have followers on Twitter. The disadvantage of using a Google+ business page is that people need to add it to their circles before you can add them back. That makes sense, I suppose.

The odd thing is that my posts don’t appear in my subscribed Google alerts. One would think that participating in Google+ would give us an advantage with this. The reason? Google search includes my activity on my personal Google+ profile and NOT my Google+ page! Go figure. That’s the one I want to promote.

So, now it’s your turn. Do you use Google+ for your small business or nonprofit? What has been your experience?

FYI, HootSuite is offering 50% off their Pro accounts for 60 days. The offer is good until the end of the month. Check it out. And, yes, I am an affiliate marketer for HootSuite because I use it!

4 Responses to Have You Been Using Google+ Lately?

  • I don’t have a business page, but do need to include the social shares on all my web pages whenever I revamp my website; the +1 do help w/ the SEO. As does the authorship which hopefully, I’ve got working correctly.

    My use? It’s evolving, as all networks do. At first it seemed a +1 was ‘weightier’ if that makes sense; so I was careful in my use. Now as the network has grown and expanded, I see them a little more like ‘likes’ or ‘RTs’ so I’m not as stingy. It’s very much a business network for me – very little personal crossover w/ F&F. So I’m trying to use it a little more yet still careful to not simply repeat what I tweet and Link.. and of course, take the time to get more out of it. FWIW.

    • Thanks for weighing in, Davina! I also use the +1 as I do Facebook ‘likes.’ I think they have similar value and lets the people we follow know that we’re reading what they are contributing. Social media has a reciprocal psychology to it. Do you agree with the reciprocal thing?

      • I’m still not fully w/ + as likes or RTs, but getting there. On reciprocity .. I’m mixed; I’m all for professional courtesy, giving back to those who give to you, making and supporting friends and colleagues. What I’m not for is blind promotion, bogus ‘tit for tat’ back scratching of the ‘insiders’ club. FWIW.

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