Google+, the so “not-beloved” of community managers, the black sheep of the web, is now 4 years old this week. How is it getting on today: an important tool in our communication strategies or a waste of time ?
Launched in 2011, Google+ continues to be a topical issue because of his low popularity and usefulness often questioned.
Indeed, Google+ has significantly less subscribers than its main competitor : in 2015, only 300 million monthly users went on this platform compared to 1.44 billion users on Facebook. However, the network continues to play a big role in many marketing strategies.
So as to demystify this network and have a better understanding of his role, we take the time to look back and talk about what has caused all this. We will keep it up next week with an analyze of its best used strategies and best practices for both small and large companies.
SEO yes, but what else?
Google+ displays different interesting tools for brands. First and foremost, his main asset is its impact on SEO. On the one hand, corporate sites that are linked to Google+ are better ranked on the search engine. On the other hand, any shared content will be better ranked if it is on Google+, whether or not users positively respond to the article.
Thus, an article with many “+1” or comments will be better ranked.
In addition, Google offers a myriad of possibilities for creating involving and interesting publications. Pictures and GIFs can also easily featured without any size restriction such as large format infographics for example. As a matter of fact, as Google+ is linked to Youtube and Hangouts, it is now even more efficient to share videos or hold presentations. This type of content is very expected and greatly appreciated by users.
To conclude, on Google+ strong communities are powerful. In regards to fashion, food, design and even marketing, Google+ offers hundred of groups where users can communicate and comment about topics they are interested in. Google+ is a way for users to stay in the loop, to keep in touch and expand their circle of friends.
Just like LinkedIn, brands can create communities, interact with them and thus build up a trustworthy relationship with customers along the process. In fact, we will discuss about very promising strategies involving communities next week.
So what was wrong with Google+?
As we said previously, Google+ is far from being the most useless network, however after 4 years of existence, its reputation is still very bad.
How often have you bumped into someone who just did not want to hear from Google+, or even didn’t know anything about it ?
Bearing in mind Google+ has great assets and a good notoriety, we are now wondering :”what was so bad about it?”
Simple fact : Google+ did not know how to stand out from its competitors. The network is similar to many other networks such as Facebook: shared pictures, mutual groups, feeds, including the “non user-friendly” interface and its complicated parameters : people, collections, communities.
It didn’t take so long for Google+ to be criticized by users.
The network has of course 2.2 billion profiles and it is slightly more active than Twitter, but is it enough to make an efficient platform for both brands and users ? What now remains to be seen is how to integrate it into its marketing strategy and how to get maximum benefit .
Your turn now to give us your thoughts. Do you use Google+, and why?