Until now, a solid base strategy for building a social media campaign was to claim your Twitter account, build a Facebook fan page to reach your audience, populate them with keyword rich content and engage. Next, add media that you first post on specialty sharing platforms like YouTube and Flickr or Vimeo and Photobucket then post all of it back to Twitter and Facebook. Finally, you might look at things like blogs, LinkedIn, social bookmarking, groups, and so on but the standard was ‘start with Facebook and Twitter’. Yesterday Google threw a new player into the game that challenges the Twitter/Facebook duopoly as foundation social media marketing tools for business.
Google+ launched personal profiles in late May and immediately there was a demand to support business profiles. The adoption of Google+ as a social platform had its ebbs and flows of excitement as invites became available and then quickly evaporated over and over during the ramp up but, once they opened access to the masses, people quickly jumped on and bought in. The high adoption rate of Google+ has a lot to do with how integrated Google is with people’s day to day lives. The subtle allure of the Google+ link was there when you checked your Gmail, your Reader, Google Docs and even just to search. It was incredibly easy to get caught up and sign up.
Then there is the format. Google+ takes the accessibility of Twitter where you can follow anyone and the inline media and the extended posting of Facebook where images, videos and more than 140 characters display within the newsfeed. They also streamlined the grouping of similar followers making it easier to maintain specific newsfeeds and target audiences. With Twitter and Facebook this is a tedious process to say the least. And yesterday Google launched Google+ Pages for businesses, brands and celebrities.
Some are criticizing the simplicity of the Google+ Pages. They are, after all, just profiles with a +1 button that can’t follow someone until that person follows them. But they did JUST launch and, considering that Google+ has launched numerous updates for personal profiles in just a few months, we know we can expect regular enhancements and add-ons in the days to come for Google+ Pages.
For businesses on the fence about setting up a Google+ Page, think of the cost of not setting up a Google+ Page for your business. Think of the power that Google has over searches and online advertising. Google’s vision for Pages and Google+ in general is much more than we see now. There is more to come and more people (and businesses) are joining every day. Going forward, for at least the near future, the new standard for social media marketing campaigns will be built on a foundation of Google+ Pages, Facebook Pages and Twitter. Google+ Pages are just getting started, businesses should jump on and enjoy the ride.