January 17, 2014

Since I started blogging I have focused on a lot of social media platforms that I believe are important to you. I have written numerous posts about how to use Facebook and Twitter to grow your business. I’ve also talked about LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Of course, I’ve written a lot about Instagram because I believe so strongly in that platform.

Even though I’ve talked about Google+ and how I plan to spend more time there, I felt like I needed to give more clarification as to why I’m doing this.

I will still devote time and energy to Facebook in 2014. I can’t ignore the presence I have there. But in 2014, I will focus the majority of my social media time and attention on Google+, Instagram, and LinkedIn. I will also increase my presence on Pinterest, though it won’t be a priority site. You will still see me on Twitter too, although I won’t be using it in the same way I did last year.

I’ve had to look at how much time I have and determine which sites are most viable for my goals. And at the top of that list is Google+. Here’s why:

Interactions

The level of interaction and engagement that I receive on Google+ exceeds what I see on Facebook and other sites. To be fair, I receive my highest levels of engagement on Instagram, but this blog post is about Google+, not Instagram. When I share new posts to Google+ I receive more +1s and more comments than when I share those same posts to Facebook. Often the comments are real conversation that expand the content of the post to a whole new level where others can join in the conversation as well.

Growth

The amount of organic growth that I’ve experienced on Google+ far outweighs the efforts I’ve had to expend on Facebook to get less growth. As of writing this post, I have 956 fans on my Facebook page. On Google+, I have 1093 followers who have added me to circle. In one month on Google+, I have gained 255 new followers. I have not actively followed new people nor advertised in any way (fan parties or anything like that) to gain new followers. This also includes the holiday time when people are less active online. On the contrary, on Facebook, I have gained 15 new fans. Need I say anything else?

Exposure

Since there is no Edgerank or other fun algorithms to mess with my posts, every one of my posts on Google+ has the potential to be seen by my followers. Obviously they all don’t see every post. But at least Google isn’t deciding for them which posts they get to see. And on top of that I have a blog notification circle on Google+ where I share all my new blog posts. Everyone in this circle has asked to be added here and they receive a notification/email to tell them that I have released a new blog post. This way I guarantee that even more people will see my posts!

Google Search Results

I found out this tidbit a while back and it inspired me to focus more on growing my Google+ presence. If you’ve ever searched for something on Google you may have noticed that people who you are connected to on G+ show up in your search results. For example, when I’m looking for certain topics related to social media, many of the articles or G+ posts that my connections have shared rank on the first page or two of the results. Google assumes that if someone you know has an answer to your question, you’re probably more interested in that than a random result. The more people have you in their circles, the more often your posts and content will show up in Google searches!

Hangouts

With the prevalence of video in 2014, Google Hangouts are going to be very popular this year. I have to admit that I was a little resistant to these last year and nervous about being on video with people I didn’t know. But the opportunity to connect with new people and to have real conversations is so rewarding! I’ve only participated in a few Hangouts but they have all been extremely rewarding. I look forward to doing many more of these in 2014.

For all these reasons, I am excited to move Google Plus to the top of my social media strategy for 2014.

I do want to mention that this is what I determined was best for my strategy. The same may not be true for you and your business. I recommend that you look objectively at all the social media sites and determine what is the best options for you, your audience, and your business goals before making any big changes to your social media strategy.

But I would like to hear from you. Is Google+ a big part of your strategy? Or will it be this year? Sound off in the comments below and let me know why!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. I also like Google+ but think Pinterest is the platform to watch in 2014. Are you gaining new followers from potential customers or other marketers/professional businesses? I ask this as I like learning from Google+ but not getting the best of success for connecting with smaller local businesses.

    1. I definitely agree that Pinterest will be big this year, Jason. And for many businesses, this should definitely be a big part of their strategy.
      As for G+, I haven’t specifically gained any new business yet. However, I have gained new regular blog readers and traffic. I have also been followed by numerous people who would be considered potential customers which gives me the chance to reach out to them.

      1. Thanks for your feedback Jenn, interesting to see you gained followers to your blog 🙂

  2. I’ve noticed that content quality can be very high on G+ but engagement is spotty. Probably because I’m not consistent 🙂 I really appreciate the statement you make at the end, that this is what you determined to be best for YOU and that each situation may be different.

    1. Thanks Lee! That is one thing I always try to remind people of. Each of us has our own goals and audiences and there is no cookie cutter solution for everyone.
      I have to admit that I had little or spotty engagement when I first started using G+ too. I would only get a couple +1s and few comments. But now that I’m using the site regularly and including more descriptive comments on the posts I share, my engagement is increasing steadily. Like anything, we all know it takes time and consistency 😉

  3. I still find it a bit confusing and I have been on it for a year and a half, although not really active. I am trying to like it, but am having trouble doing so. LOVE hangouts! Am starting a live weekly Q & A show in a couple of weeks with hangouts. Also, the hot topic now if Helpouts. Something I plan to look into soon.

    Your point about the search results is an important one though. It makes sense as if you’re connected to someone you’d probably want to read it from someone you “know” (or stalk :))

    1. I love the hangouts too, Adam 🙂 Good luck with your new show! I hope it helps you enjoy G+ a little more.

  4. Hangout is a buggy application on Chrome Windows 7. prefer better craft Facebook messenger with nice sticker and sound effect.

  5. I’ve been feeling the same way. So many good reasons to be on Google+. For me, one of the biggest ones is it’s much easier to take over a “space” in Google+ right now… to get to the front of the wave. I love the communities feature. I think this has big potential.

    1. It is a great time to establish yourself within a niche on G+, Jordan. Good for you for thinking about this and taking advantage of the opportunity!

Comments are closed.

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