Is Google Plus the new Twitter?
With the launches of many platforms there is typically huge buzz! The launch of Google Plus (G+) is no exception. Some predict that G+ will die a quiet death similar to that of Google Buzz, while others believe it could spell the death of Facebook and/or Twitter. From a small business perspective, should you spend time networking with potential customers on this new platform? Yes, this well thought out strategic play between multiple Google properties will change social media forever!
There are quite a few reasons that so many people are raving about G+. The first item that I feel is most important for business owners is the fine grained sharing control. G+ has created the concept of circles that you can easily drag and drop customers into! These circles give you the fine-grained ability to determine what gets shared with each group.
Can you imagine having a circle for each step in your sales funnel and sharing different content for each group? Suppose for a moment that you were a local carpet installation company. You now proceed to share a blog post titled “Should your carpet be professionally cleaned or replaced?” with all of your prospects. A few moments later you send out a coupon for a discount on installation to all of your warm leads. This type of control allows you to broadcast to specific groups very quickly and then follow-up 1 on 1.
Don’t forget that G+ allows you to share with other G+ users as well as with individuals via e-mail. This means that the customers in the example above didn’t even need to be members of G+. You simply add their email address to your G+ circle and voila you can share your blog or coupons with them too!
The idea behind sparks are pretty simple: provide G+ users with interesting content for their interests. You simply tell G+ which types of content you’re interested in and it will find content for you. This functionality is useful for quickly finding useful content to share with your customers. This means that you can share blogs and news items with your customers in 2 clicks.
I suspect that in the future Google will probably integrate this functionality right into your stream which means that it will require only 1 click to share!
There is a lot of new marketing ground to be broken using Google’s new concept of hangouts. Hangouts are virtual rooms where up to 10 people can video chat simultaneously. You simply choose which circles you’d like to allow into your hangout and they will all be notified that a hangout is available. Because you want to be adding value to your network this could be a great opportunity to introduce members of your circles to each-other. This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about your customers. Additionally, by helping others connect you’ll be perceived as valuable and remain in the forefront of your customer’s minds.
Aside from the fact that I believe G+ will be a huge game changer, you need to ensure that it fits properly into your marketing strategy. I suspect that all of the new capabilities G+ brings will allow it to fit into the strategies of many business owners, but not all.