It took you a month to get your LinkedIn profile to “75% complete.” You put up a Facebook Business Page but you’re not sure how to grow your fans beyond your family and close friends. Although everything you read indicates you can make great connections and promote your business on Twitter, you don’t know how to use it so you haven’t claimed your branded URL there yet. On top of all of this, you performed a quick search for “Google+ for business” and in 0.13 seconds you retrieved 23,900,000 results. You must need to be on Google+ too ….. right??!! Despite what you may have read about the benefits of Google+ for business, there are valid reasons why this social networking site is not essential for your business. Yet.
Your Target Audience (Your Customers) Are NOT On Google+
Rule #1 when developing a social media marketing strategy: go where your target audience can be found and where they are active. Your customers need to be present where you are posting and sharing your content. Econsultancy reported that 65% of the online population uses Facebook, followed by YouTube (50%), Twitter (23%), LinkedIn (13%) and Google+ was at the bottom of the pile with only 10% of the online population using this social media platform. According to Website Monitoring the leading occupation amongst Google+ users is student. The majority of users overall (67%) are male, and the same amount are under the age of 35. Does this describe your customer? As Garrett Ira stated in his post, Why Google+ Is A Drag, “After checking back regularly for a few weeks, reality set in for me: the vast majority of my network just wasn’t there or wasn’t using it much.” Get this: only a mere 17% of the Google+ population is an active and frequent user of the interface. Seventeen percent!!! So why all the fuss?
Google+ Does Not Give Content Of Its Own Social Network Priority Over Others
Google+ impacts search results, but so does all of your other online content and activity. Google wants your information to be found so it uses content from all of the social media networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest to impact search results. It is a fallacy that content within Google+ will show up more often in regular Google search results compared to other social networks. Although Google is a monopolizing search engine, it does not give its own social network priority over others.
Google Is Important To Your Business, NOT Google+
Let’s not confuse Google+ with Google. As a business owner you still have at your disposal the ability to have all types of your online activity on various social networking platforms located and ranked effectively. Additionally, you are already utilizing many of Google’s other products(Google Places, Google Maps, Google Analytics, Google Adwords Campaigns) which means – Google loves you already!
This is what I tell my clients no matter what size their business: before you venture off into unknown territory, stick with the initial unknown territory! You have to become comfortable using and getting results with a few social media networking sites FIRST. Which ones? That depends on your online marketing strategy. We conduct a great deal of research before that decision is made for our clients. The online social sites where your business needs to reside, as well as the amount of time you need to spend there should be based on sound research. One thing is certain: you can stop panicking about not being on Google+ because you don’t have the time. Unless your customer is male, under the age of 35, and a student – you’re in good shape!