The New, and Not so New Kid in the Block – 3 Reasons why You need to Incorporate Google Plus in your Social Media Marketing Plan

The year is 2013. Some of the popular social media sites are Facebook and Twitter, boasting over a billion users each. With such a huge traffic, it is no wonder social media marketing has become the ‘Holy Grail’ of Internet marketing. There is now a looming threat for these giants from the newest kid on the block – Google Plus.

Incepted in June 2011, Google+ has grown in leaps and bounds to become the second largest social media platform with a little over 340 million users. This is according to a report published by the GlobalWebIndex. With this in mind, let’s have a look at some of the reasons why you need Google+ in your marketing plan

1.      Higher Search Engine Visibility

Google, being the best and most widely used search engine, is decisively a winner when it comes to Internet marketing. Every serious webmaster and Internet marketer wants to appear on the top page of the Google search results. Amazingly, content posted and published on Google+ is ranked and indexed by its own “Mother” – Google. The sharing option offered by Google+ has broader search engine optimization influence than any other offered by its competitors. If you want to easily create social influence and brand awareness, try out the +1 influence availed by the network.

2.      Hangouts

If you thought that search engine visibility was everything, wait until you read this! Google+ offers a hangout feature! This represents the latest trends in social media networking sites, of integrating interesting and unique video features for enhanced user experience. Using the hangout feature, Google+ users can easily connect with their friends, relatives, and even colleagues.

The hangout is more like a social gathering, only that everything is done and run virtually. You can engage in free video calls with up to nine of your friends at no cost. You can also use the hangout to talk to potential customers or share ideas with some of the top influencers in your niche. You can even use it to explain to your potential customers how to use your latest software, among other developments. Some brands are simply using the feature as a virtual co-working space. In short, you are only limited by your imagination.

3.      Unmatched, Real-time Topical Streams

Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and all those other social networks, Google+, supported by Google search engine, has the ability to provide its users with relevant, meaningful, and accurate content on specific industry-related questions. With such power, Google+ users can easily find and engage in meaningful connections with other users who are engaged in the same industry.

Google+ also offers pages for all business listed in Google Places. Moreover, you can use the Google Local feature to help your business appear on the local search results.

Overall, to be able to build a solid reputation on Google+, you must position yourself as a thought leader. In this case, avoid recycling posts and thoughts that you have on Twitter and Facebook. Notably, a significant number of your Google+ followers are probably already your followers in other social networks. The first step to success is creating and providing differentiated content, preferably one that has a slant. To be a thought leader, you must position yourself as a person who always has fresh and unique ideas/content to offer. Otherwise, why would anyone bother commenting on industry clichés?