If you're like most people who are using social media marketing, you don't like the constant changes. I hear you! Unless your specialty is social media management itself, it's likely that trying to keep up with the constant changes has you scrambling more often than not.
Last week, I asked my Inner Circle a question about one of the "newer" platforms out there – Google+. I asked who was using it or planning on getting better with it during the new year.
I wasn't surprised at all when most people reacted along the lines of, "one more thing?!" Believe me – with as fast as some of those platforms keep changing, some days it's hard to keep up!
But I want to caution you – if you're avoiding Google+ and looking at as just another social media networking site (and one that seems awkward at best), you are missing the boat. And if you're missing this, you could be making the single biggest marketing mistake of the life of your business.
That sounds pretty dramatic, but let me explain.
Sure it seems like just another social networking site. You have to build a profile, post a picture, add friends and follow them back, update your status and the like.
And that's where the similarities end.
Behind the social networking aspect of Google+ lies the world of search engine optimization. Actually, that's not entirely accurate. Google+ is changing the way we look at social networking and search engine optimizing and connecting them. A new kind of search is emerging, one many people call social search.
Here's what that means.
When you search for something on Google, for better or worse, the results aren't the same as when anyone else searches on Google. Google looks at things like your location and your connections and tweaks the articles that appear higher in your results based on your network of friends.
So the SEO capabilities of Google are what make your activity on Google+ so much more important than your activity on every other social network. Google knows and likes Google-owned sites. So your activity on Google+ will have a serious impact on your appearance in search engine results. If you avoid Google+, over time, your business will lose ranking and be replaced by results related to companies that have a robust presence on Google+.
It's just that simple. Your activity on Google+ will strengthen Google's perception of you (and your business) as authoritative in your field. In the same way, over time, your failure to be active on Google+ will damage your brand's ranking on Google search results for people, as Google will perceive your competitors who are active on Google as being much more authoritative than you in your field. The greater your authority in Google's eyes, the higher you appear on search engine results pages (aka SERPs).
In marketing and in social media, the advantage usually goes to the early adopter. Many people saw this as a reason that Google+ would never catch up to Facebook.
I think the early adopter advantage relative to Google+ will be this: businesses that create a strong and value-providing presence on Google+ early will see their search engine results improve, while businesses that don't will be left behind.
And being left behind is a distinction that no business wants.
What is your greatest challenge with Google+? Leave a comment below!