Is Google+ A New Platform For Business?

Google+

One can’t help but to have noticed that the social media landscape has changed radically since the arrival of Google+. Initially just an exciting prospect for individuals, at the beginning of this year the offering was extended to businesses.

As an advocate of social media marketing, I couldn’t help but to be excited by this latest development. Others however, approached me to question whether this really offered them anything more than Facebook or Twitter.

Video conference calls are one of the ways in which this platform revolutionises the way in which businesses use social media. This enables businesses to communicate with clients, partners and prospects in a new way. As Dennis Troper, Product Management Director of Google+ Pages commented; “We want to help you make the same kinds of lasting connections with your customers online the way you can in real life”.

The Google +1 button also allows users to endorse your page, in the same way that they may previously have selected to tweet or share. The importance of this for marketers is that not only do these +1 buttons appear in Google’s search results, but they can also be embedded on other websites. For instance, had you considered incorporating the +1 button on your blog?

Another element that we cannot afford to ignore is the inevitable influence that this will have on our search habits. The +1 button is indicative of how many people have already found a particular search result useful, and will most definitely affect our choice of result. No other social media platform to date has had the power to impact our search decisions in such a way.

I think many are concerned by the thought of saturation; how many profiles can we realistically maintain? With many small businesses questioning whether or not they have the time to invest in social media, will another social network be looked upon favourably?

There is also the question of developing sufficient material to populate all social networks without too much repetition. No one wants to be told the same thing 10 times! Despite the enhanced capabilities of video conferencing, the principles of managing Google+ Pages, I would argue, are very similar to those of most social media networks. The key is to providing your audiences with compelling, fresh content and to engage, respond and react.

What do you think? Should this latest development have Facebook quivering in its boots?

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Katie King is the Managing Director of Zoodikers Consulting. Katie set up her first PR agency in 2002 and launched Zoodikers in December 2010. Zoodikers, which means to exclaim or vocalise, is an agency which gives companies a voice and enables them to punch above their weight. It helps companies to take advantage of social media and influence their prospects directly. Katie holds an MBA and a degree in languages, along with a Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Her marketing career spans over 20 years. During this time Katie has advised some of the world’s biggest brands including Orange, BT, Virgin and Sony.