If You’re Not Doing this 1 Thing, You Could be Making the Biggest Marketing Mistake Ever

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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!

Comments

  1. says

    My greatest challenge with Google+ is feeling overwhelmed by it, not knowing where to start and confusing it with Google Places. I would love to have a presence on both but feel like I need a step by step lesson on what to do and in what order.

  2. Barbara Genest says

    Good Morning Kim,
    I alway enjoy your post. It's true you are seeing more people using Google + and the google hagout. I am still very much new to the social media platforms and trying to learn daily. Google plus is another platform I was told about some time ago but have not yet figured it out. I do think the most successful people are the ones giving value through google hangouts. Apparently the hangouts serve as  a good place for live trainings and then they are stored on youtube so that helps build up your presence.
    Love all your post. Have a great day

    • Kim GarstKim Garst says

      Barbara, thanks for the comments. We are on a mission to give more value around Google+ because we feel so strongly about it. Stay tuned for more info ;-)

  3. says

    I am unsure as to whether I like the idea of having my search results limited to my current sphere. The whole point of searching the web was to expose myself to ideas and possibilities I had never thought of. Why would I want the search results to be held to only my local area or country? What do you think Kim?

    • Kim GarstKim Garst says

      Search results are not restricted to just your local area or country. I sure hope I didn’t give that impression.

    • Kim GarstKim Garst says

      Make sure you have the right size for the google+ cover. The cover photo is 940×180 and the profile pic is 260×260.

  4. says

    I completely agreee with this article.  I am wondering where one might find the definative training material on how to utilize the advantages of Google +?  They don't seem to have done a very good job of informing people on how to use their platform.

    • Kim GarstKim Garst says

      Drew, we are doing a series of Google+ content pieces this month and a webinar on the 29th. Please stay tuned as we want to teach this to our community.

  5. says

    Hey Kim I'm kind of at a loss on how about doing things when it come to social media. What exactly do have to do? Just go to google and go to work is it a easy setup? I would like to try it,. I'm already on facebook . and have a fan page, but not really moving my Art like I want to.

    • Kim GarstKim Garst says

      Herman, if you have a gmail.com email address, it is a very easy setup. If not, sign up for a gmail.com address and Google will walk you through setting up your profile. There is a learning curve associated with all social media when it comes to using it from a marketing standpoint. We are hosting a Google+ webinar at the end of the month so make sure you sign up for that as I think it will greatly help you.

  6. says

    Google+  mastered Social Networking. It offers users so many ways to  help others find us, so many ways to help us find others. A very worthy post, Kim.  I would love to join your  Circle.

  7. says

    Hi Kim,
    Google+ is very confusing to me.  I guess I probably need to just play with it for a while.  The thing I wonder about is this, I had a google blog on blogger for a couple of years, move to wordpress, so that I would have it right on my sight….and abandoned my old blogs, but now it is really easy to pull up my old blogs, and not so easy with my new ones….so did I make a mistake and should I have not jumped on the wordpress+website bandwagon.  Maybe google everything is the way to go now?

    • Kim GarstKim Garst says

      Well, Google is definitely cornering the market in certain areas and integrating many features for us to use – ‘one shop stop’ kind of approach. Only time will tell I guess.

  8. says

    My challenge Kim has been that the so called integration between G+ (local) and Google Places does not seem to have been completed. So you (technically) have G Maps, G+  and G Places all sort  of related/connected but not completely. Very confusing, even to me and I'm the "Marketing Geek"…

    • Kim GarstKim Garst says

      I agree that I think there are so ‘holes’ but I am confidant that they will work them out. I think that’s why they have ‘quietly’ been working this forward.

  9. says

    I love Google+ and the way people interact within the platform. I am also spending time this year in the communities…which I also enjoy. The hangouts are awesome. 
    I have been telling my inner circle that they should make Google+ a priority for about 6 months now. Thank you for this great article as it supports what I have been telling them. I will be using it as a reference :)  

  10. Colin says

    Great read. Google+ seems to be the thorn in every social media program's side. But its true importance lies in how it effects SEO.

  11. says

    Hi Kim,

    I always look forward to hearing you insight about evolving social media trends and I’ve been using many of your strategies. Can you make a recommendation as to what are good strategies on Google+

  12. says

    I’m a blogger and photographer and Google+ has been great for me. I have built a following of 1.6 Million followers which gives me a reach for my work I couldn’t have imaged.

    For those asking about how to learn Google+ Guy Kawasaki’s book ‘What the Plus’ is a very easy read that shows you the details and there are lots of helpful resources out there.

  13. jill says

    I love your posts and Hockey. lol I would love to learn about Google+. I’m new (Newbie SEO-Affiliate Marketer) and their is so much to learn. The more I learn, the more I find out their is to learn. Thank God it is not a race. I will learn one day at a time, period. I would love to attend your Webinars on Google+ and anything else you have to offer. Thank You so much.
    jill

  14. jill says

    I also signed up for your blogs. Thank you very much! I really appreciate it. Do you have any comments or suggestions concerning information overload. Thanks again!
    p.s. I would love to send you a personal message and pick your brain, just a bit. lol

  15. says

    Thanks for the timely insight, Kim. I’ve been wrestling with the notion of getting onto Google+ for about a week or so now, and your post has provided the context I needed to take action. Heading over to create our Google+ account right now.

  16. says

    sadly (for google) you are absolutely correct. Google+ is an important part of my marketing strategy purely because of its influence in my seo.

    I say this is sad for Google because what that means is there is pretty much no intrinsic value to google+ for me. As an individual I don’t find it useful for connecting with my friends or colleagues (in being social) or content discovery. Things the other networks I’m on have down pat. As a business I don’t find google+ particularly good for either customer engagement or lead Gen either. I can see it impacts my seo though. Makes me wonder how long Google will keep it going if the network can’t break into higher engagement use from its base.

    It could just be me. But I hear similar sentiment from others I speak to as well..

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