The last few years have seen a trend where more and more companies like Zippy are setting up business pages on social network sites. With millions of people now signed up to these sites it makes sense to advertise your business to such a large potential customer base. If you’ve already set up a business page on Facebook and Twitter you might see little reason to join relative new boy Google+ but this would be a big mistake, for both you and your business.
Small business, Internet and Social Media
Although Google+ was only set up fully in September 2011, it is already comfortably the second biggest social network site in the world, second only to Facebook. Research by Janrain shows that, of the people using social network sites to log into other websites, 46% of people use Facebook while a surprising 34% use Google+. These figures are made even more impressive when you consider that Yahoo is the third most popular site with just 7% of social logins while Twitter manages just 6%.
At the start of 2013 Google+ had over 500 million registered users and 343 million active users. Searchmetrics also estimates that sharing on Google+ is actually increasing more rapidly then even Facebook. Figures show that people using Facebook are sharing on average 10% more each month, while people using Google+ are sharing 19% more each month.
When Google+ first launched many people believed it was designed to work like (and compete against) Facebook but it has now evolved into a far different social network platform. Google+ is designed to link all the Google sites together, such as Google Maps, images, books, Youtube…etc, with Google+ at the top controlling the whole package.
So, apart from a large potential customer base, why else should a small business owner use “Google+?” If you write your own blog then Google+ allows you to link your account to the content you create, so every person reading the blog knows you were the person who created the original material.
Google+ also allows you to set up a local business page. This then appears on Google Maps and Google Local and immediately tells people searching for your services: the location of your business, the opening times, what you sell, customer reviews, photos, videos…etc and all in one place.
Google+ also plays an important role in the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your business website. Pages with a social profile on their network are rewarded with better search results. If you also add your ‘Google Place’ to your Google+ account you will see just how much easier it becomes to find your website using Google.
Don’t forget that Google is also the worlds most popular search engine (just think how many people now say ‘Google’ it) and, according to the companies research, 97% of consumers now search online for local businesses. If your small business has a Google+ account and your competitors don’t, potential clients and customers are going to find your business before theirs.
So, with such impressive membership figures and growth, an easy way to link your business to all of Google’s sites and improved SEO, the question is – can your small business really afford not to be on Google+?