Apparently the social network is set to be broken up according to Google senior vice president Sundar Pichai, who suggested to Forbes that the site’s Hangouts and Photos services would be broken up and used as standalone products.
We’ve been here before. Last year’s departure of Google+’s creator, Vic Gundotra, saw claims that it was going to peter out and die. At the same time Google stopped releasing active use figures for its social element; the last figures were 300million in October.
That was a supposed death knell back then, but Google has repeatedly come out in support of its social serving and insisted it was fully behind the network.
Breaking up Google+’s most unique and popular features into separate services, though, suggests otherwise, despite a recent mobile redesign for the social site.
But should marketers be concerned? It depends on where their market lies.
Is Google+ heading the way of the dinosaur? Would you be sorry to see it go if it went? Let me know in the comments section below.
Remember last year Ello was introduced? It was supposed to be the brand new rude boy of social media, playing Facebook and Twitter at their own game and breathing renewed life back into the medium.
Only, Ello’s hype died out as quickly as it appeared. There’s still nothing to really recommend Ello save from being part of the upcoming artistic or LGBT communities, with bugs and other problems cited as enormous irritants.
But the clamour when people first heard about it was unbelievable, with people desperate to be part of the new phenomenon.
Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, but so is some foresight and common sense. As I always like to underline, it’s so important to keep your eye on your market and spread your bets. There’s no sense in putting your eggs in one basket when it comes to marketing online.
Social’s only part of the story, and if you can pinpoint your market and engage with it then you’re doing something right.
A Plus-sized failure?
Which brings me back to Google+, and although those figures of 300million users sound quite tasty, you have to remember that a Google+ account was a requirement to commenting on YouTube videos back at the start of 2013, which saw a spike in registrations.
It can still be tricky to put a finger on Google+ and what it’s best at. In the same interview Mr. Pichai told Forbes that Google was still going to be working on the social element if Google+ is broken up, indicating that it’s something they still want to try.
Which is a shame because Google+’s Photos feature is an excellent service, as is Hangouts. Its Communities feature is also a brilliant place to meet like-minded people, though your newsfeed can get quite image-heavy at times if you join a lot of them.
Other than those features though Google+ still really isn’t very sure what it wants to do and how to do it. From a B2B perspective LinkedIn is far and away a better prospect to generate leads and connect with people, while Facebook and Twiiter are still the best ways to reach new B2C prospects.
That’s not to say that Google+ is a dreadful social network – far from it. And if your market uses it as its number-one social destination then, by all means, throw everything you have behind it to attract new business.
But when the creator appears to have little faith in its own creation, then it’s time for alarm bells to start ringing.
How do you discover new audiences on social media, and how has the medium helped your business grow? Let me know below!
Sticking to search
If Google+ does close down then maybe it was an experiment that was just never meant to be.
Google won’t be too disappointed, though. They’re still kings of search and I hear they’re just about scraping a living from it. And while Google+ flounders Google’s search engine continues to innovate.
Mobile-friendly websites are now going to be highlighted in search results (as of 21 April 2015), while they may also rank higher thanks to a refresh of its mobile ranking demotion algorithm.
Google has also confirmed that apps indexed through its App Indexing feature will rank better in mobile search for signed-in users.
Generating leads through social
So how can you attract leads through social? Here are some tips:
Optimise your profiles: If you’re representing a company then give the elevator pitch about what you do in all of your profiles and be to-the-point. Play with images and create skins for your profiles with key information. For personal profiles on LinkedIn, be as professional as possible, have confidence, and put yourself across in a good light.
Share content: There’s no point in having a social profile if you’re going to constantly give the hard sell. Think of the 80/20 rule; 80 per cent discussion and 20 per cent about what you do. Post original, fresh content and share other people’s content, too, to create debate and discussion around industry topics.
Engage: The most important lesson when it comes to social media marketing is engagement. Don’t create profiles to sit around and hopefully get discovered by your market. You need to go out there, find them, and engage with them on a regular basis to attract a following and build relationships over the long-term.
Budget well: With a lot of social algorithm changes it’s more essential than ever to budget wisely and try to maximise it. Target your market and create content around it, and make use of the lead generation features on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. Sponsored ads can also attract a following, help convert sales, and much more besides.
If you’d like to know more about social media marketing and how it can generate leads for your business get in touch with us today!