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Six reasons why B2B brands should love Google+

When Google+ was launched in June 2011 it created all the usual hype. Geeks had a new toy to play with, and the media had something exciting and shiny to write about.

However, at the time most of us in B2B marketing were still trying to figure out the best way to allocate time and resources into making Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook work harder. Getting our heads around new terms and features required effort that most of us were unwilling to put in.

Two years down the line and much has changed about Google+. Credit where credit’s due, the guys and girls at Google have stuck by their prodigal son and he’s returned with a level of maturity.

In B2B marketing, Google+ represents the future. If you’re not using it, then let this be a kick-up-the-ass to set up a company page and get cracking.

Why now?

1. It’s a time-saver
On a very basic human and commercial level, Google has worked hard at integrating some very neat and pretty easy-to-use features in the Google+ stack. While these may be unfamiliar at first, if you give them a go you’ll find them pretty intuitive.

While many of us might be familiar with social tools, such as Eventbrite, Skype and Yammer, they lack integration. With Google+ you can simply use their comparable products like Google+ events, Hangouts and “work” circles. Simply put, the Google+ saves time and money.

In fact Google+ is fast becoming a social layer across all Google properties. Google has quietly gone about their business and done some fantastic integration across Gmail, Android, Maps, Chrome and more.

I’m no rocket scientist, but it’s clear the bearded wonders at Google are basically saying is that Google+ is Google.

2. It’s relevant
 To be clear, Google+ is not Facebook.  Google+ is less concerned with pet and baby photos and is more relevant for business than any of the other social platform. What you tend to find are lots of interesting people posting interesting content. Somewhere in that mix are customers you want to engage with. Your job is to find them.

3. It’s getting bigger
Despite the media branding Google+ a failure it grew in terms of active usage by 27 per cent to 343 million users. This puts it in second place, behind Facebook and ahead of other key competitors.

In a nutshell: don’t ignore it.

4. It’s Circletastic
One of the key features of Google+ is called Circles. Circles allow you to categorise customers and prospects into multiple segments, allowing for more personalised, relevant and intimate conversations.

More importantly, because users can circle your company page, it effectively means they have ‘opted-in’ to receive information from you without the painful task of filling in forms. Combining these two features is where the real targeting opportunity lies for B2B brands.

5. It’s super friendly on organic search
By far one of the most powerful benefits of getting behind Google+ is article posts. Simply, if you post articles on the platform your content will be ranked higher that content posted elsewhere. Also, because of the tight integration with Google Search engine your posts are treated more like regular web pages and will therefore rank higher in search results.

6. It’s cool for B2B
It might sound a little trite but over the past few months I’ve really started to find Google+ pretty cool. The Hangouts feature, although a bit weird is definitely full of potential: business meetings, research, product demos, customer service, you can even post a hangout video on YouTube.

It seems that finally after all this time in social wonderland here is a platform that really makes a difference in a business context.

Add me to your Circle on Google+ and let’s hangout.