If people are asking for what the next big thing is for online marketing, mobile marketing, digital communications and social media, Google+ is certainly my pick for 2011. We have to look at it. And to that end, I have 10 things for you to think about.
I don’t care if this is a “killer” or not. I know that it’s become (in the first two weeks of its existence) the No. 1 referrer of traffic to my website, and that’s good enough for me.
As a business, imagine being able to segregate your following, similarly to how your database is (hopefully) segregated. Unlike Facebook where every page Liker receives every update, Google+1 for businesses might allow us to create circles such as; enquiries, clients and past clients. Or segregate by industry, interests or even events guests attended.
Used correctly, this could result in highly relevant content being pushed to your business’s community, content members are likely to embrace more than the current generic content being pushed to other social channels. Hopefully Google Places integrates nicely with business pages too and if businesses have the ability to make posts private or public, they could also offer Google+1 exclusive deals.
Over the weekend I suggested to Loic LeMeur, CEO Seesmic that it might be an idea to find out if anyone in the Salesforce.com community might be interested in hearing about early releases of Seesmic via G+. My thinking was that if Seesmic could get enough interest then it might serve as a way to gather a group of early stage solution testers. That’s in essence what Google is inviting G Plussers to do and with good effect. LeMeur sent out a suitably worded message and hey presto, within two hours he had more than 60 positive responses. There are a number of conclusions that can be tentatively drawn from this.
Dell could soon use Google’s new group video chat platform Google+ Hangouts as an alternative to the traditional customer service call, according to the company’s chairman and CEO, Michael Dell. Hangouts has been hailed as the next big killer app, and Michael Dell is obviously a fan as well. He’s used the video chat more than a dozen times since he joined Google+ in early July, and this Sunday, he posted the following question on Google+: I am thinking about hangouts for business. Would you like to be able to connect with your Dell service and sale teams via video directly from Dell.com?
Brands represent an important part of the growth and longevity of Google+, especially for "regular people" who are trying to find the use case for why they should care about any other social network besides Facebook.
Initial interactivity on Google+ is so high because most of the content is starting to help define the initial interest graph of its users. At the point, the key decision determining if people stick around is finding enough people creating content interesting to them. That's ok while most people inhale great "how does this work" content from people like Ben Parr, Craig Kanalley and Robert Scoble.
But the reality is the first wave of users have moved on to "what's next." And Google needs to answer the brand question quickly to build another layer of trusted sources here. Save "hyperinfluencers" who have carried their Twitter audiences here, the best content sources will come from brands they trust. This will help to make Google+ a "can't live without" service for people who create and consumer content for business and pleasure.
There is a path that Google+ is headed down, with or without our complicity: a media-sharing and discovery powerhouse. Its tight integration with Google's own suite of content creation and consumption products and properties make Google+ a wonderful real-time content-sharing and discovery engine.
As we have seen with Facebook, nothing engages consumers like good content in their social networking streams, and there is no shortage of that in the Google ecosystem to proliferate and reverberate through Google+'s echo chamber.
Brands are about to get two very important content distribution channels (in addition to Facebook), and should be developing their content distribution strategies now, if they haven't already. Facebook will likely remain a channel for consumers to have a relationship with the people and brands they "like," but Google+ and Twitter look to be on a collision course as channels that may drive significantly more content shares and views due to their platform, device, and software integrations. Add Google's Search and product importance into the mix, and you don't just get distribution, you get filing, storage, and streaming as well.
With the business profile set to release, I wanted to highlight one key feature that I hope Google+ will embrace. Its implications would be tremendous for the way we interact with the businesses in our lives. That feature is real-time, dynamic chat.
Existing business profiles on Facebook (and probably coming to Google+) can provide a great platform for information transmission--through reviews, sales, photos, and videos--but they aren't built to address more complicated questions, especially when the user is looking for a real person to interact with--not just a posting.
Due to a massive number of companies wanting to be part of the upcoming Google+ Businesses' test phase, the company had to launch an additional sign-up form online because the previous form, according to Christian Oestlien, a Google+ project developer, had "filled up."
Oestlien reminded businesses that the application form would close this Friday, July 15 at 6pm PST (9pm EST), and any company interested in being considered for this phase should sign up here.
Google is closing its application form for businesses on Friday (July 15th) at 6pm PST, Christian Oestlien from Google has revealed in a post:
"To the thousands upon thousands of businesses that applied to be a part: THANK YOU! We won't be able to accommodate everyone, but your interest has got us very focused on accelerating our development plans.
+Dennis Troper (product manager for business profiles), myself and the rest our team will focus next week on selecting a diverse set of business partners for the test period. We will be communicating with these partners next week, and will let the world know who they are soon thereafter. Please note that we are still actively closing profiles that are being used by businesses today. Stay engaged on Google+ with your personal account and continue to send us your excellent feedback. We'll continue to be very proactive in communicating with everyone around our plans for businesses."
Richard Branson has entered Google+, and goes right to the core issue for brands like Virgin: "I wonder how Google+ plans to expand to businesses. This platform would be a great way for "Virgin+" to listen to and interact with our customers."
Five ways that brands can prepare to use Google+. 1. Apply to be a Google+ business test partner 2. Learn the culture 3. Test out the features 4. Prepare for the customer-service implications 5. Think integration
While waiting for Google+ business pages (and not only) to be officially open (after they let some brands get in, then blocked them, then re-opened again), I thought it was good to have a look at what happened with Facebook’s most famous fan pages.
Chris Brogans (controversial) webinar on how to use Google+ for business and networking goes live at (12PM ET), and WILL BE RECORDED. If you're looking to shortcut the process and learn a bit more about the product, including tips and tricks and some possible shortcuts, sign up now (either for the live show, or to receive the recording):
The insider buzz about Google+ is big enough that you have to really take Google+ seriously. It’s a game changer and for small businesses, it’s one more tool to leverage. Hangouts: Leverage this feature to build better relationships, be available virtually to any of your clients at a moment’s notice and inspire more confidence in yourself as a business owner.Sparks: If you play your cards right and work to adapt Google+ to your business needs, it can tailor content so that you’re: a) plugged into what’s new in your industry and b) getting content that (when shared) makes you relevant and appealing to your circles.
Work circles get more interesting. You could have everyone in your company in a circle; your workgroup in another, the guys you’re plotting to take over the company with another… oh did I say that? Or, you can have work circles of business partners, press who cover your company, or customers. I can see this working in other ways. Perhaps a customer support circle in addition to your other customer support forums? Last, but not least, you can set up circles by interests. At the moment, Google+ circles aren’t ideal for interest circles. For example, if you were to follow me in a dog-lovers circle, I might only mention pups once every other day or two. It’s my understanding though that Google intends on making it easier to post by topics. I certainly hope they do.
Today I have realised that what I have been doing over the past 2 weeks (placing people into buckets based on interests , area of expertise and industry) is the basics of email marketing and segmentation[/b]. I have been analysing and thinking about what this person is all about, what their interest is, what industry they work in, who else is similar to them and putting everyone into buckets. Basically, understanding your audience and then delivering content based on their needs, wants and interests which is a fundamental rule in email marketing. Unlike Twitter where I am sending out messages and content which is shared to ALL my followers, I am now having to think about the content I am sharing and who is it relevant for?
Here are a number of things you can consider to help your company in Plus both before and after the business pages are up. 1. Advocate focus groups 2. Getting speaking gigs 3. Product feedback & contests
Now is the time to “Experiment Personally then Apply Professionally,” as I say during social media presentations. It is still very early, but here are my initial thoughts about how this new social network can be a plus for organizations. 1. Segmenting Social Communication 2. Identifying Interested People
With the launch of a new social network, Google+, now with over 10 million users, there is an important question to be asked: What does this mean for brands?
If Google+’s user base continues to grow as brand pages roll out, there are a variety of opportunities that could arise for businesses: - Google Adwords - Google Analytics - Google Places - Product Search - Plus One Button - Circles as Consumer Categories
Google has picked up the pace in its efforts to get a business version of Google+ up and running. Businesses can sign up for the trial on Google's site, but the site has been so busy it may take several tries to get through. But if a business isn't part of the trial, Google doesn't want its profile on Google+ and it will be pulled down.
Barely two weeks old, Google’s new social network, Google+, is already scrambling the social media hierarchy. One of its key features — that your professional and personal lives can go their separate ways — helps solve a key Facebook drawback.
We're starting to see more news organizations join G+. Breaking News started with a list, and a lot of accounts were added through the stream. It seems like Google won't pull news accounts, even if they were asked to wait, like all brands.
In the wake of the Google+ (AKA, Google Plus, and G+) phenomenon, you might be thinking: Great, now how can I make my product or company viral using it? Here are some obvious and not-so-obvious reasons this social platform can add to your virality and influence on:
1. G+ picked up where ning.com left off. 2. G+ can leverage the rule of 15 and 150 3. The Hangout feature can enhance real-time virality 4. The Sparks feature is another platform to syndicate content 5. Games will open up the floodgates. 6. Phones and other devices will connect the masses on G+. 7. Google’s world dominance will be leveraged.
Here are the top six things every marketer needs to know about Google Plus: - Project vs. produkt - Engagement is king - Create circles - Share information that sparks converastion - Hanging out online - Start early, but tread with caution