Is Google Plus hot? Or just a big old time suck? Over on LinkedIn, I spotted several people saying “Oh, there’s no reason to go to Google Plus, there are so many more people on Facebook, why bother.”
It’s true. Google Plus is different from Facebook. Yes, there are fewer people, but you can make more money marketing to fewer people.
Fit Your Message to your audience
The people on Google tend to be more techie, and, so far, more male. Conversations are longer, and lengthier (helped by the fact that there’s no character limit). There are fewer discussions about what’s for lunch and more about SOPA, movies, the 4th Amendment, techie toys, and cats. Silly is fine, but not so much fluff (e.g., Ashton Kutcher’s hair).
Don’t shout and don’t spam
Spammers are summarily blocked and reported. Brands have pages (which are slightly different from people pages). They can’t follow people, only be followed. There’s a lot less interruption, less shouting, and (so far) no ads. Google Plus also doesn’t take your posts and turn them into “sponsored stories” (essentially ads you write, without pay, for their advertisers).
Google is including Google Plus posts in search results. Posts from your circles show up, and people you know show up too. Post frequently, reshare others’ posts (particularly people with lots of followers).
More on this from SEO expert Ian Lurie.
On a personal note, I’m finding my pages are ranking higher, and my traffic has doubled from what it was this time last year.
Use it wisely
Is it a “time suck”? Well, only if you use it wastefully. You can also waste a lot of time in business meetings that go nowhere, or reading stacks of business books (but never implementing their advice). Use Google Plus (or any other social media) to help people, have conversations, share mutual interests, and build a community that cares about what you think.
(More next week on what Google Plus can get you).