Show of hands time. Have you been asked in the past month “So what are we doing with Google+?”
And did you know how to answer?
Fear not, there is a Strategy For That. And one that is already in market that you can easily adapt. This is the Five Platform Social Media Strategy.
Today many brands are executing across multiple social platforms because they understand their consumers are also engaging across multiple platforms. They also know that the nature of how these consumers engage with each other in social spaces continues to evolve. They know they need to fish where the fish are, and this might mean casting a line into multiple ponds.
So What Has This To Do With Google+?
Well, the June 28th launch of Google+ meant there is another platform we will soon need to include in this framework. So consider this a guide to being ready to integrate G+ into your Five Platform Strategy framework when the time is right.
Using a Five Platform Social Media Strategy enables these aforementioned fisherman to operate efficiently in a multi-layered framework. This is a distinct outline that highlights the value in each platform. It also drives brands to adopt a conversation and content management strategy that enables smart content distribution and details where and how to drive the best engagement on each platform.
Importantly, this framework looks at the nature of audiences on each platform, and how they differ and enables focused planning around these differences. Want awareness and immediate connection with influencers? That’s Twitter. Driving deeper connections, community content creation and information sharing? Consider this your strategy for Facebook. And so on.
Still Early Days for Google+
We still don’t know what the exact make up of Google+’s audience will be and how brands will be able to use it. Safe to say that if it continues to grow, as the social layer on top of the world’s largest search engine, it will become relevant for all of us in some shape or form.
Many brands clearly want to establish themselves early on in the lifecycle of Google+ – some have already done so, such as Ford (cl) – as detailed here earlier this week by Karen Untereker. The rest of us are left waiting for Google to open up their pilot for feedback – or are treading the path creating profiles on the existing personal profiles platform, which carries the risk of losing out on the early-adopter graph as Google has been shutting down “non human” personal profiles.
Questions To Consider When Evaluating Google+
So while we are waiting, why not refer to this framework and consider these points below? With the intention that the next time you are asked the Google+ question, you are one step closer to having the answer. And when this social layer is officially opened up for brands, you know exactly where you are headed.
- Does your brand’s target demo really fit? Some initial reports speculated that 9 out of 10 Google+ users were male, with current reviews stating men now account for 63% of visitors. Targeting moms 34-45 years old? Then Google+ might not be for you. Yet.
- Think carefully about where are you executing your program. While the U.S. leads in Google+ audience, it currently accounts for 27% of the total worldwide audience. India holds a strong #2 position with 2.8 million visitors. The UK (867,000 visitors), Canada (859,000 visitors) and Germany (706,000 visitors) round out the top five, according to ComScore.
- The US market should be handled with care. Two of the most tech-savvy markets in the U.S. Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA are approximately three times as likely to be represented among the population of Google+ visitors as might be expected given their percentage of the total Internet population. Other markets that index on the higher side include Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, Pittsburgh, PA and Washington, DC – again, according to ComScore data.
- Look at overall reach numbers. Ten million on Google+ is still not the 750 million of Facebook. If you need to invest time and dollars to achieve maximum impact, this might not yet be ready for you.
- Have you actually really used Google+? This is Brand Spanking New! Spend time on it, play with Circles, experiment setting up Hangouts instead of meetings, or even using G+ in the place of one of your other regular platforms of choice for a few days or more. Then you can credibly understand it as it evolves. And it will evolve – think how often Facebook makes changes – and has changed in recent years. Google+ will only do the same, if not even faster given the weight of the Google development muscle behind it
We will continue to monitor and update on best practices for brands as Google+ evolves. Remember the early days of Facebook? Brand pages are still relatively new there too, so there is still time.
Meanwhile do you have any tips to add to this list?