In a packed room with some of the world’s most influential bloggers, Guy Kawasaki (Apple Chief Evangelist, Author and Entrepreneur) and Chris Brogan (Author of Google+ for Business and President of Human Business Works) shared why Google+ is a land grab this week at Blogworld and New Media Expo in Los Angeles. After launching in July, Google Plus now has 50 million members and is the fastest growing social media network. As more people discover the benefits discussed during this keynote, they’ll run to sign up. As Guy Kawasaki explained, “I spend 2-3 hours a day on Google+ posting great content because it’s a land grab” (and has 287,000+ followers.) Chris Brogan, added, “The same thing happened with Twitter. You want to get in early and be there before the sale.”
While brands have acknowledged Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn as marketing engines, some are skeptical of Google+ because it’s new and another social media site to manage. If someone says, but Facebook has 900 million users, Guy’s response is, “We’re not talking about two guys in a garage building a social media site…Google has such advantages that I don’t see how they can’t be a success with Google+.” After hearing this keynote, it was clear that you can no longer afford to ignore this land grab if you have a business or product to promote. And here are the Top 5 Benefits of Google+ for Business discussed:
1. Google+ is a Powerful Business Marketer – What’s different about Google+ is that it is set up for success when building business relationships. As Guy explained, “Facebook is for friends and family, and Google+ is for people who share your passions who you don’t know yet.” You can build on your existing relationships on Facebook, and build new relationships on Google+ based on your passions like hockey and photography. For example, many bloggers who attended Blogworld searched on the word “Blogworld” or “#BWELA” in Google+ to make connections based on this mutual interest. If you’re into gardening or photography, you can easily see the stream of posts and comments related to your interests by searching on keywords in Google+. While you can also find a stream on Twitter about a topic with the hastags, what makes Google+ different is you can comment and share a conversation with others on that post.
2. Everyone can see your content on Google+ – What’s great about Google+ is that it doesn’t have an algorithm like Facebook that selects which friends get to see your posts. Guy expanded, “Facebook decides who sees your photos and that just boggles my mind. With Google+, at least everyone following you can see it.” As a result, Guy invests more time in Google+ than any other social media site. He added, “On Google+, every single post I do on Google+ is manual and only me. Every comment, every reply, every presence of Guy Kawasaki on Google+ is me manually….. As soon as I discovered Google+, I have so much less manual interaction on Twitter. Twitter for me is almost totally automated right now…So people will stop following me because they know it’s not Guy, the truth must come out.”
3. Builds Valuable Business Relationships – Chris explained that the value-add of Google+ is that you can start making business relationships before trying to close a deal. Chris expanded on this benefit, “It’s like a free mind reading tool. Why wouldn’t you go in there and see people’s interests. People know that I’m passionate about my girlfriend, people know that I’m passionate about my Camaro, people know that I juice a lot of things in my juicer so I get crazy conversations about that, and then from there,…there are ways to get to know the person behind the story before you make the sale.” To get started attracting like-minded people who share your passions, Chris added, “My biggest advice for Google+ is make your About page better. Go back to your About page and make it better and get a nice photo.”
4. SEO is Superior on Google+ – The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for Google+ is a Marketer’s dream. Chris explained, “The search ranking is the reason that I tell people to start using Google+ for Business because when you post to “Public” it shoots up really fast, and it gets indexed very fast for Google rankings so it’s a beautiful thing.” What this means is that when you put keywords in your posts, when someone does a Google search on those words, your posts will show up in organic searches (based on credibility versus a paid search where you pay to be high up in the search results.) What was surprising to hear is Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn posts are no longer indexed by Google. It makes sense since Google owns the biggest search engine in the world and wants to promote Google+. Many people are probably not aware of this social media marketing change. If you want to review SEO Basics, you can check out my blog: Basic SEO Starter Tips.
5. More High Quality Content on Google+ – The early adopters of Google Plus are posting more high quality content about their passions versus sharing what they had for dinner, which also makes it ideal for business. Guy expanded on the importance of adding value by comparing his content to NPR. Guy explained, “I’m providing value, so I’m not simply trying to spam people. My mental model is like NPR, my perspective on NPR is I love NPR I love Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! I love This American Life, Fresh Air, Tech Nation…so they provide so much great content all year that when they run their telethon, which I can’t stand, I tolerate it because I make the mental calculation that they provide great stuff, and they’ve earned the right to promote their telethon. That’s my attitude with social media. I want to earn the right to promote my book to you, and the way that I am going to do that is to provide great content all the time.”
During the Q and A, Guy reflected on the social media landscape, “I would be much more worried if I was the CEO of Twitter about Google+ than if I was the CEO of Facebook….I think Google+ is to Facebook what Macintosh was to Windows.” Chris also shared that if you want tips on how to get started on Google+, you can check out his blog, http://chrisbrogan.com/startplus. Many thanks to Guy Kawasaki (and special thanks for signing my copy of The Art of the Start), Chris Brogan and Blogworld Expo for putting together this eye-opening keynote.
© Liz H Kelly http://gplus.to/lizhkelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist, Sunrise Road Media, http://sunriseroadmedia.com